I used farro, although you can also use barley. The only notes I made on this recipe:
- I added a Parmesan rind to the pot while everything was simmering (Parmesan rind is a magic ingredient - fish it out before serving).
- I used flageolet beans that had soaked for 2 hours before I started the soup.
- The farro took much longer than I expected to cook. The soup didn't suffer for it: the beans broke down a lot more, but they just made the soup creamier.
- I didn't use any basil: I didn't have any on hand, and besides, to me fresh basil in January just seems wrong.
- I served it drizzled with some fruity olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly-grated Parmesan.