The Chinese have considered the shiitake a symbol of longevity for thousands of years; recent research shows that it's a great source of iron and antioxidants. Here, Nichole Birdsall adds the mushrooms to a soulful recipe passed on to her by her grandmother. "It's a comfort thing. If I need to feel a family connection, I make that soup," she says.
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Tune in on Wednesdays at 10PM ET for Top Chef: Boston, the 12th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.