Gizzi Erskine's pancetta, faro and bean soup recipe

(31 ratings)

A delicious high energy soup that can be made in vats and bought to work to heat up, and that will keep you fuller for longer.

  • Nut-free
Makes5 portions
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time50 mins
Total Time1 hours 10 mins
Cost RangeCheap

A delicious high energy soup that can be made in vats and bought to work to heat up, and that will keep you fuller for longer.


  • 100g pancetta cubetti (or smoked bacon)
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and diced (or 2 whole tomatoes from a can, chopped)
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 1l chicken stock, fresh if you can find
  • 140g pearled spelt (or farro), but pearl barley is more than acceptable
  • 1 x 400g can canellini beans
  • flat-leaf parsley and Parmesan to serve




  1. Fry the pancetta in the oil for 2-3 mins in a medium saucepan. Add the bay leaf and onion. Cook over a gentle heat until the onion has softened and is starting to go golden. Add the garlic, fry for a few secs more, then the tomatoes and puree. Cook these down until the tomatoes start to thicken and soften.
  2. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Rinse the spelt and drain well. Add to stock then simmer very gently for 25-30 mins.
  3. Add the Canelllini beans and simmer for 10 mins more, or until the grains are tender. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, then sprinkle with parsley and freshly grated Parmesan
Top Tip for making Gizzi Erskine's pancetta, faro and bean soup

Faro is low GI so will keep you really full for the rest of the afternoon.

Gizzi Erskine is the phenomenal chef behind many of the nation’s much-loved cookery programmes such as Cook Yourself Thin, Cookery School, The Wine Show and Cooks to market. She has also appeared as a chef on daytime television shows, such as Good Morning Britain. Born as Griselda Erskine in Dumfries, Scotland in 1979, Gizzi moved to London with her parents as a child. She graduated top of her year from the prestigious Leith’s School of Food and Wine before going on to launch her career as a chef. Since 2010, Gizzi has released eight cookery books focused around foolproof meals and a love of eating. Her first book, Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic (opens in new tab) gave readers a break from the pressure of creating fantastic (but one-off) recipes and focused our attention on how to create great meals every time. Within just one book she covered how to master pasta dough and pastry, as well as tips on how to make perfect poached eggs and other exciting recipes. Gizzi Erskine is perhaps most renowned however, for her passion for pop-up eateries. She has been on many ventures inspired by food from all over the world including Korea, Lebanon and California. In 2020, she launched The Nitery on St Martin’s Lane in London, in the space once occupied by famous fusion restaurant, Asia de Cuba. Previously, Gizzi ran a vegan pop-up burger bar in Shoreditch, London. Her most recent book, Slow, was released in 2018. It encourages readers to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and take time to create something special in the kitchen. If you’re looking to do the same, we’ve got plenty of Gizzi’s most famous recipes (opens in new tab) to indulge in on our site. You might enjoy her Instagram-famous chicken katsu curry (opens in new tab) recipe, or this Vietnamese pot roast chicken (opens in new tab). If you’re looking for dessert, then Gizzi’s unique recipes for ice cream (opens in new tab), cake and cookies will appeal to any sweet tooth. Gizzi lives in East London, in an apartment that marks her passion for the loud and lairy, with her two cats, Ponzu and Kimchi.