This was the first recipe I made from Ina Garten’s new cookbook, which so far is just as amazing if not better than her previous ones. This is a perfect make-ahead meal, since the soup tastes better the next day.
I was tempted to add a whole cup of farro, but I’m glad I didn’t since the farro soaks up some of the liquid overnight. You can substitute sour cream for creme fraiche, as make mushrooms substitutions depending on what you can find at the store. Another substitution I made was I used 10-minute farro instead of pearled farro.
This was a great winter soup, it’s perfect for lunches during the work week!
Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup
adapted from Make It Ahead
- 1 1/2 ounces dried wild mushrooms (I used porcini and cremini – morels are expensive!)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, 1/2 inch diced
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (about 2 onions, depending on how large)
- 2 cups (1/2 inch diced) carrots (3-4 carrots)
- 2 cups (1/2 inch diced) celery (3 to 4 stalks)
- 4 tsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
- 3/4 cup farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10 minute farro, although Ina prefers special pearled farro)
- 12 – 16 oz fresh mushrooms, cleaned, stems discarded, 1/4 inch sliced. Ina uses cremini, I used regular white button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp dry marsala wine
- 4 cups canned beef broth
- 3 large sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
- salt and pepper (about 1 tsp, or to taste)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place the dried mushrooms and 6 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heath the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and farro and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fresh mushrooms and the 1/2 cup Marsala and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms have released some of their liquid.
Meanwhile, strain the dried mushrooms through cheesecloth, reserving the liquid. Coarsley chop the mushrooms and add them to the pot, along with the strained soaking liquid, the beef broth, and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes, until the farro is tender Discard the thyme bundle.
In a small bowl, mash together the flour and butter and stir into the hot soup. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the cream and remaining 2 tbsp of Marsala, and taste for seasonings. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.