Mushroom and Farro Soup
Note: This soup has an Italian flavor, with farro and a little red wine, so feel free to throw in some thyme or rosemary, if the spirit moves you. Tamari may seem out of character for Italian, but it adds savory umami flavor that amplifies the meatiness of the mushrooms. Find farro with packaged grains and flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill products) or with bulk items at food co-ops. From Robin Asbell.
• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, chilled
• 2 ribs celery, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 c. uncooked farro (see Note)
• 6 c. vegetable stock (see recipe or use prepared stock)
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 c. tamari soy sauce
• 1/4 c. red wine
• 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the onions and celery. Sauté for at least 10 minutes, reducing the heat to medium-low when they start to sizzle. Add the garlic and stir for a minute, until fragrant. Add the farro, vegetable stock, salt, tamari and red wine, and stir. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, if using pearled farro. For whole farro, simmer for up to 45 minutes.
When the farro is tender, stir in the mushrooms and several grinds of black pepper, and simmer until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the parsley just before serving.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 145 Fat 5 g Sodium 1,410 mg
Carbohydrates 20 g Saturated fat 1 g Added sugars 0 g
Protein 7 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g
Exchanges per serving: 1 ½ carb, 1 lean protein, ½ fat.
Makes about 6 cups.
Note: Start saving onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and other vegetable trims ahead of time. You can freeze them and add the frozen vegetables to the stock. If you are making the soup, start first by chopping the onion and saving the skin and core; also save any mushroom stems and parsley stems. Then go through the vegetables in your refrigerator, and peel and trim some carrots and celery, saving the skins, putting the usable parts in containers to use later, now that they are pre-trimmed. Find any slightly over the hill vegetables that are still firm, trim any brown spots, and add them to the stock pot. From Robin Asbell.
• 8 c. vegetable trims (see Note)
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 tsp. black peppercorns
• 1 tsp. salt
Combine the vegetables and 8 cups water and the bay leaf, peppercorns and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cover, to simmer very gently. Cover the pot so the water will not boil away.
Set a timer for 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes, strain the stock and discard the veggies (they make great compost). Taste the stock, add seasonings as desired.