This is a luxurious recuperative broth in which farro and mushrooms star. You can add more or less stock depending on how soupy you would like the finished dish. Fresh mushrooms can be sliced straight into the pan. Cooked chestnuts are sold vacuum-packed. If you have fresh ones, pierce and poach first, then skin before adding.


  • 100 g dried wild mushrooms
  • 100 g farro or pearl barley
  • 1 litre vegetable stock or
  • water, plus extra if needed
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 small new potatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 100 g cooked chestnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Soak the wild mushrooms in warm water for twenty minutes (if you have fresh, you can skip this step).
  • Wash the farro or pearl barley and cook in vegetable stock or water for twenty minutes, then set aside.
  • Slice the shallot and sweat in a non-stick pan for five minutes.
  • Cut the new potatoes into small cubes and add to the shallot, cook gently so as not to catch and add a little stock if necessary.
  • Crush and dice the garlic and add in.
  • You need to be able to remove the rosemary before serving unless it is very young, so add as a stalk.
  • Cook for ten minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms – chopped using scissors – and their water.
  • Add more vegetable stock, if needed
  • Add the cooked chestnuts and farro.
  • Cook on until the potatoes are tender – another ten minutes.
  • Take out the rosemary.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Taken from The Alkaline Cookbook, by Dr Stephan Domenig and Heinz Erlacher, published by Modern Books, RRP £14.99, 10th March 2016. Photograph by Elwin Street Productions 2016.