Sunday, December 25, 2011

Meatless Monday--Mushroom Farro Soup

Every year I just can't wait for the holiday season to arrive.  I can't wait for the fun, the festivities, the decorations, the time with family and friends, and, of course, the food.  The delicious, decadent, homemade food.  The cookies, the turkey, the candy, the beverages.  I love it all.  But man will it get to be too much by the end of the season.  We've still got New Year's to come and I am already looking forward to the proverbial commitment to healthier eating come January.

In fact, I've already started lightening up.  I guess it comes with getting older.  I just can't handle all the heavy foods and sweets like I used to.  I still love it, I just have to balance it with lighter, healthier meals.  Honestly, it's better for me anyway.  And with easy and delicious meals like this soup, lightening up doesn't have to mean going easy on comfort or flavor.  A warm bowl of this soup, a blanket, and a movie--the perfect way to keep the balance during the holidays.


Mushroom Farro Soup
adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles and Smitten Kitchen
originally from The New York Times

Ingredients:
1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
1 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced 
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 lbs. cremini mushrooms, quartered or sliced
1/4 c. sherry
5 c. mushroom or vegetable broth
½ c. farro or pearl barley, rinsed
salt and black pepper
1 TBSP sherry or red wine vinegar

Directions:
1.  Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl with 1/2 c. boiling water.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap, make 5 small holes in the plastic wrap. Set aside 10 minutes to let the mushrooms soften. Use a fork to lift the softened mushrooms out of the liquid. Mince the mushrooms and strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove grit, reserving the strained liquid. 

2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions just start to brown around the edges, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add the fresh mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid, 3-5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until liquid evaporates and the mushrooms just begin to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add the sherry; scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
4.  Add the broth, farro, minced reconstituted porcini, the liquid from soaking the mushrooms, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the farro is tender. (The soup can be stored at this point for up to 5 days. Heat on the stove over medium heat just before serving.)  To serve, stir in the sherry vinegar, add more salt and pepper, to taste, and ladle into bowls.   Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a side.

5 comments :

All Things Yummy said...

Definitely going to make this soup. I'm ready for some holiday detox. Time to make those New Year resolutions and maybe actually keep them.

Bridget said...

I feel exactly the same way! I started getting into full holiday mode on Friday, and Saturday was a big splurge day, and then of course Sunday was Christmas. Now all I want to eat is fruit and salad. But I still want to drink wine...

Christin said...

I'm ready to get started with the New Year's Resolutions too. Can't stand the thought of anymore sugar. Will be making this soup soon.

That Girl said...

I have to thank you for this soup - it came at the perfect time. We had it for dinner last night!

Kelsey said...

That Girl, I'm so glad you guys liked it!