Porcini Mushroom Soup

Porcini Mushroom Soup Recipe

This soup is for the mushroom lovers out there. As I was clearing the cupboards in preparation for the painters the other day, I came across a small bag of beautiful dried porcini mushrooms. The soup I ended up making is hearty, fragrant, earthy, and simple to prepare. Seven ingredients including potatoes and porcini mushrooms are packed together in an intensely flavorful broth peppered with rosemary and tiny pools of golden olive oil. Just the thing to go along with chunk of butter-kissed garlic bread. Also, (and here's the best part about this soup) it just keeps on giving. I used the mushrooms in tacos the next day for lunch, and later in the evening used the broth and soba noodles, a bit of spinach and some tofu for a quick supper.

Porcini Mushroom Soup Recipe

When you go to buy dried porcini mushrooms, try to smell them. I know this might be a challenge (particularly if the bag is sealed), but sometimes the mushrooms are sold in jars. You are after a concentrated mushroom aroma. Avoid anything musty or dusty. Avoid mushrooms that seem crumbly, and avoid any that have little worm holes in them.

Porcini Mushroom Soup

Not everyone loves giant slurpy pieces of mushrooms, if this is you, simply chop the larger porcini into smaller pieces before soaking them. I should mention I decided to add some oven-roasted chestnuts* to this soup as well - totally optional, although they add an unexpected dense, sweetness, and are a traditional pairing with porcini. I also like this soup with a couple handfuls of cooked brown rice or farro or wheat berries thrown in. And most important -getting the salt right in this soup makes all the difference in the world. If you under-salt the soup it will be flat and the mushroom flavor will not come into focus, so be mindful of this. And lastly, when you go to reheat any leftovers, you may need to add a bit of water, and readjust the seasoning again.

2 ounces of dried porcini mushrooms
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups water
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons salt

Extra toppings (optional) freshly grated Parmesan, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, fresh chives or fresh thyme.

Soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water for about 15 minutes, or until they are soft. Set aside.

Heat a splash of the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot, saute the shallots for a couple of minutes, then stir in the rosemary and potatoes. Add the remaining olive oil and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, the porcini along with the soaking liquid, the 4 cups of water, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Taste. If the broth is too intense, you may want to add more water a bit at a time. And take care to get the salt right as well, it's important in a simple soup like this.

Serve as is or topped with any number of the ingredients I listed up above.

Serves 4-6.

*To oven-roast chestnuts, heat the oven to 400F. Prepare the chestnuts by setting them flat-side down. Now carefully cut a small 'x' into the round side of each chestnut - to allow steam to escape as they are roasting in the oven. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake cut side up, for about 20 minutes or until fragrant and the edges of the 'x' cuts begin to peel back a bit. Remove from oven, let cool, peel, and cut into quarters. I always roast a few extra chestnuts while I'm at it in case there are a couple that are off or moldy when you go to peel them.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

tried this. it was amazing. marry me.

todd breslin

I am not the biggest fan of mushrooms but my girlfriend is...and she will LOVE this. Thank you.

Yeah, I find that the olive oil used for sauteeing is usually more than enough for a pot of soup - no need to add much more to the water. To each their own, though... HS: I have to say that I do love the body and mouth-feel that comes with the olive oil here - but recognize it might not be for everybody. It's perfect sopped up with a hunk of bread. Feel free to tweak it (scale back a bit) to your liking.

Spike

Great tips about the appropriate salting salting. What do you think about soaking the porcinis in red wine or broth (or replacing the water with either)? HS: I'd say try it with broth first. Red wine would be an entirely different approach to this soup, and I think some other adjustments might need to be made.

I also found some porcini mushrooms that have been hiding in our cupboards! Can't wait to try the recipe this week.

Jora

Mmm...I do love mushrooms so very much. I'd like to try this with a wild rice blend. I was surprised by the amount of oil as well. Although I enjoy olive oil, I'm not typically a person that likes food to taste strongly of oil (e.g, I'll dip my bread in it, esp if it has garlic in it too, and enjoy that, but I don't want pools of it on my soup). Is there a reason for the amount, or are you just from the oil-lovers' camp? ;)

I love mushrooms, but I always have trouble getting dry ones to soften enough to be edible (i.e.--not tough). Any suggestions? I have a bag of dried Shitake I'd love to use in this soup!

Marisa

Oh my lord, this looks delicious. I will be making this in the very near future. And I will have to try it with the roasted chestnuts--sounds amazing!

Nice looking soup. Dried mushrooms almost always hang around my house for way, way, too long. Why is it that so often I can talk myself into thinking that soaking a few mushrooms is a big job? Thanks for the inpsiration!

I made this today. It was good. Not great, but good. Against my better judgment, I used the 1/3 cup olive oil, as listed, but it was way too oily. Next time, I'll cut back the oil.

Raul

I can almost hear the slurping noises :-) Porcini and chestnuts are a gorgeous combination so I'm sure it would be worth the effort to make the chestnut version. I made a lentil and chestnut stew with porcini last weekend and those flavours just work really well together, as you say.

I usually add dried porcini to mushroom soups or risottos, or even bolognese, to accentuate the mushroom flavour. This sounds like an interesting way of using them. I like the flavour combination of mushroom, garlic and rosemary.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

Oh my! I know I will love this.

Sue

OOh this sounds good for a mushroom wh*re such as myself. I think I might make it with some sauteed shiitakes -- what do you think? Too much?

Anne

What a great looking soup. I have a jar of dried porcini in my cupboard too, so it would be a great way of using it up. I'll have to keep it in mind.

We ate a very similar dish this Christmas, but it involved a splash of cream and port. I like this lighter version, though. I'd really love to hear more about that soba and mushroom soup. Since visiting Japan, soba is even more intimidating than it used to be, and I'd like to hear about your approach.

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