Shiitake Mushroom Stock
- 1 1/2 cups reserved vegetable trimmings from the soup (onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and garlic)
- 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
- 8 cups filtered water
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water*
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms, (I used beech, white and portobello), wiped of grit, and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sweet Madeira
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Truffle salt (optional, I omitted)
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 cup farro (see Note), rinsed
- 3 cups water, salted
- *If you are seeking a gluten-free alternative, try brown rice, millet or gluten-free oats
- Combine the vegetable trimmings and dried shiitake mushrooms in a medium saucepan, pour in the water, and bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer the stock for 30 minutes more.
- Carefully pour the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof container and use the back of a wooden spoon to press on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible; discard the solids. You should have about 4 cups mushroom stock.
- Put a soup pot over medium heat and add the vegetable broth or wate*r. When heated, add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, season with salt and pepper, and turn the vegetables over with a wooden spoon, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and vinegar and stir until almost evaporated. Add the stock and simmer, uncovered, until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes.
- Put a dry nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the farro, and toast, shaking the pan periodically, until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the toasted farro, stir with a wooden spoon, and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until the farro is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well in a sieve and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking.
- Stir the farro into the soup and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the thyme and rosemary sprigs.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with truffle salt, if using, and serve.
The original recipe uses *2 tablespoons grapeseed oil + 1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter stick instead of the 1/4 cup vegetable broth to saute the vegetables.
Farro is similar to wheat berries but better all around, as far as I’m concerned. I’m crazy about its hearty nuttiness and firm but chewy texture. Popular since the golden days of ancient Rome, this healthful whole grain stands up to everything from salads to soups. It is a rich source of vitamins and nutrients, as well as protein and fiber. Farro is available in most grocery stores and health food stores. Look for the semi-pearled variety, which allows for speedier cooking. Toasting farro in a dry pan before cooking makes the flavor extra nutty. I cook farro just like pasta, uncovered, in plenty of boiling salted water, and then drain. Some packages call for cooking farro like rice, tightly covered in a measured amount of water until the water is absorbed, but I find this method makes it a bit mushy.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: Vegan