I was lucky enough to grow up in a household in which my grandma would do most of the cooking. I remember looking forward to an after-school school pick-me-up of fresh spring rolls packed with homegrown herbs, crunchy lettuce and cucumber hustled back on the Downtown Muni bus from the weekday farmer’s market. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the golden amoeba-shaped nuggets and potato sticks from our favorite ginger-fro’d clown like the next kid. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was a lucky, spoiled kid eating shall I say organic, non-gmo, goodness that was not packed, processed, complete with play-doh like cheese.
The one dish that also brings back fond memories growing up is a refreshing, clear soup made from boiled down hearty artichokes and sweet carrots. After a long day at school, and yes, all the imaginable stresses that a young boy could have at that age, a spoonful of this perfect balance of not-so-sweet, not-too-salty broth would for the moment rid everything that was wrong with the world. My favorite part was actually eating the artichoke leaves and of course, there would always be the heart saved just for me by my grandmother, who always saved the best parts of any fruit or vegetable for everyone else on the table. Maybe it’s the reason why this particular food memory is like a golden nugget, shiny, heavily sunken into the bottom ridges of my flowing food memories.
8 quarts of water
- 1 carrot roughly cut
- 8 pieces of dried shiitake mushrooms
- 3 artichokes
- 1 tablespoon mushroom seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add water, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and artichokes and bring to a boil.
- Once water boils, let simmer for (15 to 20 minutes).
- Add mushroom seasoning, salt, and pepper for tasting and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- When the artichoke is cooked, remove from the pot and pluck leaves from the artichoke heart.
- Take a bowl and add broth, leaves, and carrots. Enjoy!