Earthy mushroom broth is easy to make and has a delicate but versatile flavor profile. Button mushrooms are the most economical mushroom choice but others—cremini and portobello, for instance—will also work. Though many sear their vegetables beforehand, I prefer a clear “white broth.” An optional ingredient I like to use is dried porcini mushrooms. Adding just a few to this recipe makes an incredible difference in the flavor. Though they’re not available at local farmers markets, you can find them in grocery stores. Use this broth in mushroom risotto or create a healthy vegetarian meal, as detailed below, by pouring it over a bed of soba noodles and Swiss chard.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Makes: 2 quarts (8 cups)
1 large yellow onion, unpeeled and sliced in half
1½ pounds white button mushrooms
2 carrots, sliced in half
2 celery stalks, sliced in half
6 cloves garlic, peeled
6 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs thyme
1 ounce dried porchini mushrooms, optional
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Place all ingredients in a large stockpot with 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours. When the liquid is reduced by ⅓ (to about 2 quarts), strain the broth from the solids, pressing the porous mushrooms with a spoon to release all the broth. Store broth in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.
SWISS CHARD NOODLE SOUP WITH EGG
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
2 quarts (8 cups) mushroom broth
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 good quality pasture eggs
1 large bunch Swiss chard
4 cups cooked soba noodles
In a large pot, bring mushroom broth to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover to keep warm.
Fill a 10-inch sauté pan with 2 inches of water. Over high heat, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a medium simmer and add vinegar. Gently crack each egg into a small cup (to prevent breaking the yolk) then slowly pour each egg into the simmering water, making sure that the eggs do not touch each other. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes until the whites of the eggs are completely cooked but the yolk is still wet. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel until needed.
Trim leafy parts from Swiss chard and discard stems. Tear chard leaves into bite-sized pieces and arrange a large handful in the bottom of each serving bowl. On top of chard leaves, place 1 cup of soba noodles and then ladle the broth over both. In each bowl, place a poached egg on top of the noodles and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Before serving, add your favorite hot sauce or hoisin sauce for an extra kick.
MEREDITH STEELE is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer and author of InSockMonkeySlippers.com, an award winning family food blog celebrating creative and fresh foods. Her recipe development and photography company, MBS Recipe Development specializes in multimedia recipe development for commercial and small business who’s clients include everyone from Ziploc® to small wineries. Meredith’s work has been published online, in various print media, and has been nominated for the SAVEUR awards. She can also be found across the pond writing a monthly column for JamieOliver.com. When Meredith is not in the kitchen, she’s roaming Dallas, Texas with her husband, curly-headed pixie of a daughter, and big floppy-eared dog.