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Mushroom and Vegetable Pho


Serves 4

For the mushroom and vegetable pho:

  • 2carrots
  • 6cups (1 1/2 liters) rich mushroom stock (see recipe below)
  • 1generous handful of baby spinach
  • 1splash rice wine vinegar
  • 3 1/2ounces (98 grams) Chinese noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • 1/4small head of savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Handful of fresh cilantro
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1Fresh red chili pepper, chopped fine (optional)
  • Slow Roasted Crispy Mushrooms (see recipe below)

Peel the carrots into ribbons. (Either store the cores in a container or use them to make the vegetable stock, or each them as-is.) Combine the stock, carrots, spinach, and rice wine vinegar in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Divide the cabbage and noodles amongst four deep soup bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowls. Top with the herbs, chili pepper, and Crispy Mushrooms. Serve hot.

For the rich mushroom stock and slow-roasted crispy mushrooms:

  • 1 1/2pounds Crimini mushrooms, sliced thin and divided (use both the stems and caps)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 6carrots, cut into coins
  • 1medium yellow onion, cut into quarters
  • 4garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8cups (2 liters) water
  • 4dried bay leaves
  • 6sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Handful of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 2 to 3splashes soy sauce

To prepare the slow-roasted mushrooms: preheat the oven to 300º F. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside. Add 8 ounces (224 grams) of mushrooms to a medium bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, just enough to coat the mushrooms. Season with salt, and toss well to mix. Spread them in a single layer onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, give the mushrooms a stir, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes more, until crisp. Let the mushrooms cool completely before using, or store the cooled mushrooms in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. To prepare the stock: place a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Swirl in just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining mushrooms, season with salt, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until deep, golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onions, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits of mushroom. Cook until the onions begin to slightly soften, about 2 minutes. Give the mushrooms and onions a taste, and add more salt if necessary. Add the carrots and garlic, giving everything in the pot a good stir. Cook for 2 more minutes. Use a wooden spoon again to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Pour in the water, and add the herbs, and soy sauce. Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by 1/3, roughly 35 to 40 minutes. Place a sieve, or fine meshed strainer, over a deep pot. Pour the stock through the sieve, to strain out the vegetables and herbs. The stock is now ready to use, or you can portion it into smaller containers for use later on. Store it in the fridge, covered, for up to one week, or the freezer for up to two months.

BY: Jennifer Perillo

Author Notes: There’s so much I miss about my old Brooklyn neighborhood, but the fresh air, forests, and snow-filled landscape of my new home nestled in the Catskill (…more) —Jennifer Perillo

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