Baking is science and I don't like formulas, but cooking is art and anything goes...and the simpler the better. It's all about less time at the stove and more time at the table. With a forty year passion for food I'm excited to share what I do in the kitchen nearly every day.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Porcini Mushroom Soup

This Porcini Mushroom soup has a lot of flavor and with just a touch of cream is far from filling.  To start I’ll soak a generous handful or two of dried porcini mushrooms in a large bowl of hot water then quarter and thinly slice a half dozen medium to large onions.  If you can’t find porcinis nearly any dried mushroom will do.  While the mushrooms are soaking I’ll sauté the onions in my soup pot with half a stick of butter for about a half an hour, continually stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot until they are brown and caramelized. 

Next I’ll grind in some fresh pepper, stir, then pour my liquid from the mushrooms into the soup pot along with some additional water depending on how many you are serving.  Save the porcinis for later.  After bringing to a light boil I’ll add some beef stock, my favorite is the Better Than Bouillon paste, and continue to let simmer and reduce for upwards of an hour.  You could also use the Better Than Bouillon Mushroom stock or a combination of both which is what I like to do. 

At this point I taste to see whether it needs some more stock and if so add and turn down the heat to a simmer.  I’ll give it ten minutes then run my stick blender through the broth to get rid of whatever onion pieces are still around then add just enough heavy cream to make it silky.  Give it another ten minutes then add salt to taste along with the chopped porcinis.  It’s best to make a few days to a week ahead of time then refrigerate or freeze.  Grating a little pecorino or parmesan over the top just before serving is a nice touch for the holidays.

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