Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

RECIPE: Porcini Mushroom Soup

I am about to put a recipe up here for porcini mushroom soup. I am also about to put a picture up of the soup I made. The two soups are similar in idea, but they are not the same soup. So why I am I putting a recipe for one soup up when I made a different soup? Well, because ... the recipe I'm putting is the recipe I meant to make, and it looks like a really good recipe .. but some things happened along the way, as they do, and I ended up with a different soup.

First, I couldn't find porcini mushrooms at the store. The only dried mushrooms were in the Asian section, so I ended up with shiitake mushrooms instead. I would have liked the correct mushrooms, but we can't always get what we want, eh?

Then I came to the part in the recipe where it said "tomatoes." I'm able to eat tomatoes when they're in a soup, usually, but I really don't like tomatoes. If I have control over whether tomatoes can be in something or not, sorry, but they're outta there.

After that, I made the soup as directed until ... well, I got to the part where it says to puree a portion of the soup and throw it back in with the rest of the soup. So I pureed the portion ... and ... it just smelled so good. And the rest of the soup looked so chunky ... the mushrooms were pretty big for a bite. So before I knew what I was doing I had my immersion blender in that pot and the rest of it was all pureed. Okay, I admit it ... I also just really love to use my immersion blender. Still, I think the soup was really nice pureed, although the picture from the magazine with the big chunky mushrooms looks very nice and rustic. But pureed, the soup was nice with some parmesan cheese on top.

Hey, a recipe is only a guideline right? It's an idea and you can follow it or you can try something else. Comments on Epicurious are mixed as to whether it needs more salt or not. I found it to be find but I agree it could have been improved with more salt. It was fine with the cheese though and the garlic and onion add enough that it's not bland.

Eat with a piece of crusty bread on a cold day. It's a nice hearty soup, and great for winter.

Gourmet, December 2008
Makes 8 servings


  • 3/4 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (1 cup)
  • 6 cups tepid water plus 2 cups hot water, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds white mushrooms, sliced or quartered
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill

Soak porcini in 2 cups hot water 15 minutes.

Cook onion in butter with 1 teaspoon salt in a heavy medium pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add celery, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Transfer porcini with a slotted spoon to pot and strain soaking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a large glass measure. Add white mushrooms to pot with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, remaining 6 cups water, and porcini-soaking liquid. Simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes.

Purée 1 cup vegetables and 1 cup liquid in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids), then return to pot. Stir in parsley, dill, and salt to taste.

Cooks' note: Soup, without dill and parsley, can be made 3 days ahead and chilled. Add herbs after reheating.



said by tom at 10:53 AM Delete

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