RECIPE: Mushroom Farro Soup with Root Vegetables



Plant-based soups with mushrooms offer an umami-quality that can be as satisfying as meat. Here, dried mushrooms are added as well to create a flavorful base for this super healthy soup chock full of vegetables. Serves 6.


1/4 cup dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 whole leek, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced

3–4 carrots, peeled and cut into half moons

2 cups diced root celery root, turnip or parsnip

2  stalks celery,  diced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

2–3 cups mushrooms (local shiitake mushrooms are nice), stems removed, sliced

2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

8 cups water

1/2 cup farro, rinsed

1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, soak shiitake or porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, but save the soaking water to add to the soup. Chop the mushrooms finely.
  2. In a soup pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the leek, carrots, root vegetable, celery, garlic, mushrooms, cabbage, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables soften somewhat, another 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Mix in tomato paste.
  3. Add the chopped dried mushrooms and the soaking water (being careful to leave any grit at the bottom of the bowl), water, farro, 1 teaspoon salt, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until the farro is tender and vegetables are cooked, approximately 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley, and add additional salt to taste and some pepper. (Soups take a good amount of salt; add small amounts at a time until the flavor pops.)

Note: Barley is fine to use in this soup, as the classic mushroom barley soup. If using barley rather than farro, just increase the cooking time to about 40–45 minutes. Soup will be done when barley is cooked.

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Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers, Bluedot’s food editor, is a Martha’s Vineyard-based writer, culinary instructor, and private chef. A former journalist, she is the author of 4 cookbooks, including Kale, Glorious Kale, Soups + Sides, and Raising the Salad Bar. She wrote an environmental guidebook called A Greener Boston published by Chronicle Books in 1992. Follow her on Instagram @catherine_walthers.

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