In any Washington, D.C., eatery, you expect food and politics to intermingle; at Restaurant Nora, the food itself is political. Nearly every bite is 100 percent organic. Chef and owner Nora Pouillon showcases seasonal, local, organic ingredients at both her restaurants, Nora’s and Asia Nora. Just reading the menu’s manifesto on turtle-safe shrimp, Amish free-range chicken, and shade-grown coffee raises your environmental IQ. Restaurant Nora: 2132 Florida Ave., NW; (202) 462-5143. Asia Nora: 2213 M Street, NW; (202) 797-4860
Clear Wild Mushroom Soup
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3/4 pound assorted wild mushrooms
1 tablespoon tamari
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or tarragon, for garnish
1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add shallots and garlic and sauté on medium flame, stirring often, until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in leek, carrot, celery, and wild mushrooms and sauté until mixture is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tamari and stock and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chopped parsley or tarragon.
Find more great recipes in Cooking with Nora (Random House, 1996).