Some days I feel pulled across the Atlantic. I’m here in Brooklyn, and my heart feels like it’s being tugged by dozens of strings halfway across the globe. Sometimes it gets so intense that I feel jerked straight out of my skin.

A few days ago, I received the most generous gift from my parents and older brother: a professional camera with a gorgeous lens, along with lots of accessories. It was a total surprise, and I was floored. I walked around my house, my heart bursting. By nightfall I felt so dizzy I had to lie down. The next day, I woke up to this post. And all day I felt out of place.

I made this soup while catching up on the phone with a close friend. It lends itself easily to such multitasking. You stir the carrots and onions until soft, their aromas filling the kitchen, the flame taking off the chill you’ve been feeling since morning. Next, you prep the mushrooms, and stir them into the pot. In go the liquids, and you bring the soup to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer away, quietly. If you find your jar of bouillon base impossible to open, you’ll be happy to have someone on the other end. I wasn’t going to mention it, silently thinking of an alternative (just water? some wine? beer?). But then I did, and she had a solution- plastic gloves- and it worked, smoothly. A small reminder that often it can help to voice your problems, big or small.

This soup is gorgeous. The farro lends a nice toothsome bite and a lovely nuttiness, while the mushrooms turn deep brown and become incredibly juicy, popping under each bite. The broth is aromatic, layered and rich. It’s soothing and deeply comforting, and rather perfect as we ease into winter.

Mushroom Farro Soup

Farro gives this soup a nice toothsome bite and a lovely nuttiness, while the mushrooms turn a deep brown and become incredibly juicy. With its aromatic and rich broth, this soup is soothing and deeply comforting.

Loosely adapted from this recipe by Berna at Food52

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ pounds baby bella mushrooms

2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons soy sauce

6 cups vegetable broth*

3 Parmesan rinds (optional)**

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ cup pearled farro

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and sauté the onions, carrots and shallot until soft (about 10 minutes).

2. Add garlic and mushrooms, and sauté until mushrooms release some of their moisture.

3. Stir in tomatoes, soy sauce, stock, and Parmesan rinds. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer on low, covered, for about an hour.

4. Add farro and simmer for another 15-20 minutes, until farro is “al dente” and chewy.

5. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro.

*I used 6 cups of water with 4 teaspoons Better than Bouillon.

**When I reach the end of a wedge of Parmesan, I freeze the rinds to use in soups.

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