After spying some dried porcini in the pantry, I was in the mood for some warm, earthy mushroom soup for dinner this eve. This soup is simple to prepare and wonderfully hearty when pared with a chunk of garlic-rubbed toasted bread. I topped the soup with some pancetta crumbles to add a crunchy bite to the soup and finished with a drizzle of fruity olive oil. You could also perhaps stir in some freshly grated parmesan or chopped sundried tomatoes. I enjoyed with a glass of earthy Chianti to pick up the earthy goodness of the soup. Stay warm….enjoy!
Porcini Mushroom Soup with Pancetta Crumbles
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 8-ounce containers cremini mushrooms, sliced in half
1 3.5 ounce container shitake mushrooms, sliced in half (NOTE: You can mix and match whatever your favorite mushrooms might be!)
4 cups low sodium chicken or mushroom broth
1 small sprig of rosemary
2 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1. In a small bowl, place dried porcini mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water. Allow to steep for 15 minutes to soften.
2. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add the onion. Cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the cremini and shitake mushrooms and allow the mushrooms to soften for about 10 minutes. Stir in the stock and the rosemary.
4. Drain the softened porcini mushrooms. Dice the porcini mushrooms and add to the pot. (Note: If you want a stronger taste of porcini mushrooms, you can add the soaking liquid to the mixture. Add carefully and taste frequently as the taste can be overwhelming if too much is added.)
5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Allow to simmer for about 1 hour.
6. Remove the sprig of rosemary. Allow the soup to cool for a bit. Using either an immersion blender or regular blender, blend the soup at high speed until smooth and creamy.
7. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the sherry and cream.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
9. In a small saute pan, saute diced pancetta over medium heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain.
10. Put soup in bowls and sprinkle with pancetta crumbles. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy….