If you can soak the berries in cold water for a couple of hours before cooking them, they will be more tender. In place of wheat or other grain berries, you can substitute bulgur, buckwheat or oat groats.
2 c cooked white beans or 1 can drained and rinsed white beans
4 c chicken or vegetable broth, divided
1 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery or 6 – 8 chard stems, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t dried Italian seasoning (or 2 t combination of dried thyme, basil, and oregano)
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 c wheat, spelt or Kamut berries, rinsed and drained
2 c diced tomatoes (or 1-14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice)
2 c water
salt and black pepper, to taste
8 – 10 c coarsely chopped greens (kale, chard, vitamin greens)
grated Parmesan cheese, optional
extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
1. In a food processor, or with a potato masher, combine beans with 1 cup of the broth and puree until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery or chard stems and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add wheat berries, tomatoes (with juice), water, reserved bean mixture, and remaining 3 cups of the broth and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until wheat berries are almost tender, about 1 hour. Stir in greens. Cover and cook another 15 minutes, until wheat berries are tender. Serve, each bowlful sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and drizzled with olive oil.