mushroom+farro soup

A flavorful and comforting soup to help us emerging from the wet and cold weather.

mushroom+farro soup
(from Everyday Greens, p.103)

I. your favorite mushroom stock or this one:
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 leek top, chopped and washed
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, smashed with the flay of a knife, skins left on
6 parsley sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh oregano or marjoram sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 ts salt
1/2 ts black peppercorns
10 cups cold water

1. Place all the ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.
2. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
3. Strain the stock, pressing as much liquid from the vegetables as possible and then discard them.

II. mushroom+farro soup
mushroom stock, about 6 cups
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1/2 cup hot water for about 10 minutes
2 1/2 tbs olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped, about 2 cups
2 tbs minced garlic
1 medium carrot, peeled+diced, about 1 cup
2 celery ribs, diced, about 1 cup
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup farro
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 pounds crimini or white mushrooms, sliced, about 8 cups
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 to 2 tbs chopped fresh herbs: flat leaf parsley, chives, oregano or marjoram, and thyme

1. Make the mushroom stock and keep it warm over low heat

2. Pour the porcini through a fine sieve and save the liquid to use later. Finely chop the porcini and set aside.

3. Heat 1 1/2 tbs of the oil in a soup pot and add the onion, 1/4 ts salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook over medium heat until the onions begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. 4. Stir in 1 tbs of the garlic, the carrots, celery, and porcini, and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. 5. Add 1/4 cup sherry and the porcini soaking liquid and cook until the pan is nearly dry, 3 to 4 minutes. 6. Add the farro, bay leaf, and 4 cups of the stock and bring to a boil. 7. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer until the farro is tender, about 45 minutes

8. While the farro is cooking, sear the mushrooms in 2 separate batches. 

9. Heat 1/2 tbs oil+1/2 tbs butter in a large saute' pan, and add 1/2 of the mushrooms, 1/4 ts salt, and a pinch of pepper. 10. Saute' over medium heat until the mushrooms begin to release their juices, and 1/2 the remaining garlic and continue to cook until the juices evaporate. At this point, the mushrooms will be golden and seared. 11. Add 1/2 of the remaining sherry to deglaze. 12. Add the mushrooms to the soup, making sure to include the flavorful pan juices. 

13. Return the pan to the heat and cook the remaining mushrooms in the same way, adding a little stock to loosen the juices from the pan, if needed.

14. Add 2 cups of stock and the herbs to the soup and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. 15. Season to taste with salt + pepper and serve.

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