This restorative mushroom broth is an antidote for daily life. It’s also excellent as part of any cleanse.
- 1 ounce mixed dried mushrooms
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 shallots, peeled and cut in half
- 1 pound mixed fresh mushrooms (such as cremini, oyster, shiitake), rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, fibrous strings removed, roughly chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons caramelized onions (see Kitchen Tip #2)
- Soak dried mushrooms in the water and bourbon 30 minutes, then drain, reserving soaking liquid. Rinse the drained mushrooms briefly under cold water and roughly chop. Strain soaking liquid through a coffee filter or unbleached paper towel.
- Add all the ingredients, including the strained soaking liquid, to a saucepan and simmer for 1 hour. Strain, pressing on the mushrooms with the back of a spoon to extract as much broth as possible. There should be about 4 cups broth. Reserve solids for another use. (See Kitchen Tip #3.)
- This vegetarian bouillon is light yet flavorful. Feel free to sprinkle each bowl with freshly minced herbs such as chives, parsley, or dill. For a more substantial dish, serve with a few boiled tortellini in each bowl, or a ½ cup of cubed, boiled root vegetables.
- From Ame’s kitchen: Caramelized onions add sweetness and color to the broth. I keep a batch in my freezer ready to use. Thinly slice 4 large onions (around 6 cups) and sauté in a pan with a small amount of oil over medium heat, stirring often, until they caramelize, about 45 minutes, to yield 1½ cups. If onions begin to brown too quickly, add 1 tablespoon of water to the pan as needed until onions are a golden, nutty brown. (Take care: sweet caramelized onions can turn to bitter burnt onions in a flash). Divide cooked onions between the compartments of an ice cube tray (around 1 tablespoon per compartment) and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic bag and keep in the freezer for later use.
- After straining the broth, the mushrooms are too wonderful and flavorful to discard. Possible uses include: adding to tomato sauce, tossing with chopped tomatoes to make a “ragu” for polenta, stirring into custard to fill a quiche. The mushrooms can be frozen for later use.