I used to make this at my restaurant, many, many moons ago, with wild rice. Now I prefer to use quinoa. If you don't have a nice cognac, sherry and sweet vermouth works well too. You can use any mushrooms especially porcini but I really like this combination of shitake and trumpet. Maitake would also be an excellent choice. Long peppercorns add an intersting almost smokey quality to this soup which balances nicely with the sweet tomatoes. If you can't find them, regular pepper will suffice. —flavoristabarr
Heat a large pot and then add the diced bacon. Cook until the fat is released. Add the leek and shallot and stir well.
Add the celery and allow to soften.
Add the mushrooms and cognac and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Warm up your stock in another pot or microwave.
Add the warm stock, thyme sprig, long peppercorn and marjoram and bring soup to a boil.
Now add the quinoa and stir. The quinoa will absorb almost 2 cups of the liquid in about 20 minutes. If you prefer a more liquid soup, then add a little more stock or water. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for a few hours, or overnight to allow flavors to develop.
To serve,add the freshly chopped garlic and bring back to a simmer. Remove long peppercorn and season with salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowels and garnish with grated Parmesan and chopped herbs.