Mushroom-Farro Soup With Parmesan Broth

Mushroom-Farro Soup With Parmesan Broth

This dish is layered in earthiness and umami thanks to its ingredient list: farro, dried and fresh mushrooms, shallots and Parmesan broth. Farro is a rustic grain, hearty enough to maintain its integrity and stand up to a long simmer. Similar to arborio rice, pearled farro readily releases its starch as it cooks, thickening the broth and marrying the ingredients in a blissful union. A pinch of fennel pollen at the end is a classy move, though absolutely not mandatory.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 300 degrees and bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Spread farro out on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice to toast the grains evenly.
  2. Step 2

    While farro toasts, place dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover completely with 1 1/2 cups hot water from the saucepan. Cover the bowl and set aside to hydrate.
  3. Step 3

    Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the shallots and 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, adding a splash of water if necessary to prevent it from scorching.
  4. Step 4

    Stir in the toasted farro. Carefully scoop the dried mushrooms from their soaking liquid and add them to the pot. Strain their soaking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into the pot as well, discarding any grit left in the sieve. Add Parmesan broth, white wine and thyme to the pot and bring to a boil over high.
  5. Step 5

    Once liquid boils, lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 minutes. Uncover the pot and continue to cook at an active simmer until the farro is al dente, swimming in a lightly creamy broth, another 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard thyme stems and stir in the grated Parmesan. Season with black pepper to taste.
  6. Step 6

    When the farro is almost done, cook the fresh mushrooms: Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high. Add half the torn fresh mushrooms, stir to coat, then cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then cook until the mushrooms are golden and caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a medium bowl. Repeat with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and remaining fresh mushrooms, transferring cooked mushrooms to bowl. Stir 2 teaspoons vinegar into cooked mushrooms; season to taste.
  7. Step 7

    To serve, ladle soup into shallow bowls. Top with seared mushrooms and extra Parmesan, to taste.