1 quart beef or vegetable stock (for vegetarian)
A handful dried porcini or mixed wild mushrooms
4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound cremini or mixed mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, trimmed, white and light green parts, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small chili pepper, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped sage
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
3 cups water
1 cup farro
1 chunk Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind, optional
1 bunch lacinato/Tuscan kale, stemmed and chopped
About 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Options for serving: garnish with shaved cheese, garlic toast and/or eggs poached in the soup
In a medium saucepot, gently simmer stock with dried mushrooms to reconstitute them.
In a soup pot or large Dutch oven, heat olive oil, 4 turns of the pan. Add fresh mushrooms and brown then add carrots, celery, onion, leeks, garlic, chili peppers, salt, pepper, sage, rosemary and cook partially covered 10 minutes to soften. Add stock, reconstituted mushrooms (minus last few spoonfuls of stock where grit may have settled) and the water; bring to a boil. Add cheese rind and farro, wilt in kale; add nutmeg, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes until the farro is tender. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve soup with cheese shavings or with a poached egg for stirring in.