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Porcini Mushroom Soup

2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms*
4 cups hot water
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 lb. fresh porcini mushrooms (cepes), coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. fresh white mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
8 thin slices fontina cheese*
1 tbsp. white or black truffle oil (I prefer white)*

Soak dried porcini in 4 cups hot water until softened, about 1 hour, then lift from water,
squeezing the excess liquid back into the bowl, and rinse the mushrooms well.  Pour
soaking liquid through a fine mesh strainer, or one lined with cheesecloth.  Pat the
porcini until dry. Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides,
then add shallots, fresh mushrooms, and reconstituted mushrooms, stirring until the liquid
the mushrooms gives off is evaporated and they are golden, about 10 minutes.  Stir in
wine and boil, uncovered, for 2 minutes.  Stir in soaking liquid, broth, cream, salt and
pepper and simmer, uncovered, until the mushrooms are very tender, about 40 minutes. 
Puree soup in a blender, in batches, until smooth.  Be real careful blending hot liquid. 
If necessary add water or broth to thin.  Reheat soup if needed. 
Divide soup among 8 bowls and top each with a slice of cheese and drizzle with truffle oil.

*The ingredients with the asterisks may be hard to find.  I buy all of these at iGourmet  they
have simple the best selection of cheese and the best.  All at VERY reasonable prices.


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