Pearled Spelt, Pancetta & Lemon Broth

Cooking time
Serves2-4 people
Pearled Spelt, Pancetta & Lemon Broth

Get cosy with this Italian-inspired broth that's made with tender grains of pearled spelt simmered in a lemon and fennel-scented chicken broth with nuggets of pancetta and winter greens. Tip with parmesan and then snuggle down to dinner.


  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of rosemary, leaves only
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g cubed pancetta
  • 100g Sharpham Park pearled spelt
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 750ml hot chicken broth or stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g greens (collard, kale, cabbage, chard)
  • Parmesan, to serve

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 35 mins

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1. Peel and finely chop the onion and carrot. Trim the dry tips from the fennel bulb then chop the fennel into small cubes. Peel and finely grate or crush the garlic cloves. Finely chop the rosemary leaves.
2. Place a large, heavy based pan on a medium heat for 1 min then pour in 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the pancetta to the pan. Fry, stirring occasionally for 4-5 mins till the pancetta is golden and crisp on the edges. Lift the pancetta out of the pan, using a slotted spoon, onto a plate. Set aside.
3. Add the onion, carrot and fennel to the pan - you shouldn’t need to add any more oil. Cook for 8-10 mins, stirring often, till the veg is soft, glossy and lightly coloured. Add the pearled spelt, rosemary, garlic and fennel seeds to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 mins.
4. Tip the pancetta back into the pan. Add the bay leaf, then pour in the hot chicken broth or stock. Bring the pan up to a gentle bubble, then turn the heat down to low. Pop a lid on the pan and simmer for 15 mins.
5. While the broth simmers, finely grate the zest from the lemon. Finely shred the greens, discarding any really thick or dry stems.
6. After 15 mins the pearled spelt should be just tender. Drop in the shredded greens and the lemon zest. Cook for 3-5 mins, with no lid on the pan, till the greens have wilted. Squeeze in a little juice from the lemon then taste the broth and add any salt, pepper or more lemon juice if you think it needs it.
7. Ladle the soup into warm bowls. Top with some Parmesan shavings and serve.
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