A Mushroom Broth with an Asian Touch From Alissa Timoshkina's "Salt & Time"

A Mushroom Broth with an Asian Touch

Serves 6

For the mushroom broth:

  • 20g dried wild mushrooms
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 500g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves and stalks finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

To serve:

  • 300g soba noodles
  • 6 tablespoons Khrenovina (below)
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley

We all know that chicken broth is a cure-all dish. Common in most Eastern European countries, and hence in Ashkenazi cuisine as well, it’s often lovingly referred to as Jewish penicillin. While I have been raised on the loveliest ‘penicillin’ thanks to my Jewish great-grandma, when I moved away from home my preferred cure-all dish became a simple mushroom broth. Made with an assortment of mushrooms and a soffritto of onion and carrot, this rich broth could not be simpler to prepare and is guaranteed to make you feel healthier by the spoonful.

While this soup is quintessentially Eastern European, I’ve recently discovered that an addition of soy sauce and soba noodles turns it into a hearty affair with an Asian touch. What’s more, if you top each bowl with a generous dollop of Khrenovina (see below) you will get yourself nothing short of a miraculous elixir!

Soak the wild mushrooms in the measured boiling water for 10–15 minutes. In the meantime, heat up the oil in a medium-sized saucepan and fry the onion and carrot over a medium heat for 5–8 minutes until softened.

Drain the wild mushrooms, reserving the liquid for later, and add to the pan along with the chestnut mushrooms, garlic and parsley. Season with the salt and cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock and mushroom soaking liquid, as well as the soy sauce, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

To serve, cook the soba noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain and divide the cooked noodles between 6 bowls, top with the hot mushroom broth and add a tablespoon of khrenovina and a sprinkle of parsley to each serving. I am already feeling better just thinking about this dish!

Khrenovina
Makes a 1-litre jar

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • large chunk of horseradish root (I would go for one the size of two thumbs), peeled and finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

Whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor or using a
hand blender.

Transfer to a sterilized 1-litre preserving jar (putting it through a dishwater will do the job), seal tightly and leave to ferment out of direct sunlight at room temperature for 5–10 days, depending on the season. Things usually start fermenting a lot faster in the summer. Check on the salsa every day, opening the jar to release the gases. You will know the fermentation has slowed down when there is less gas released from the jar. You will also notice that the salsa might begin to split, with the pulp rising to the top and the clear liquid remaining at the bottom – just give it a good stir when you see that happening. This salsa is very reactive, so you can expect a Champagne cork kind of pop when you open the jar!


Transfer to the refrigerator and enjoy in all the many ways it offers. It will keep in the cold for 6 months.

Reprinted with permission from Salt & Time by Alissa Timoshkina, Copyright © 2019. Published by Mitchell BeazleyPhotography by Lizzie Mayson.

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