1 1/2 cups dried borlotti or cranberry beans (1/2 pound), soaked overnight
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving
In a large saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and the onion and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain the farro and chickpeas; add them to the saucepan along with the chile and cover generously with water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat, skimming occasionally, until the chickpeas are almost tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and continue simmering until completely tender, about 20 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, drain the borlotti beans. In a medium saucepan, generously cover the beans with water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until tender, about 2 hours. Transfer 2 cups of the cooked beans to a bowl and mash to a coarse puree. Return the mashed beans to the saucepan.
Drain the chickpeas and farro and return them to the large saucepan; discard the chile. Add the borlotti beans with their liquid and the minced garlic to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Serve the soup hot in bowls. Pass the olive oil and the cheese at the table.
The rustic flavors of this hearty country soup are brightened with a kick of chile. Look for a red with zesty fruit to provide an attractive contrast. Try a Valpolicella or Chianti.