2000s Recipes + Menus

Porcini Mushroom Soup

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:1 hr
December 2008
This soup is inspired by one that food editor Paul Grimes’s Russian grandmother used to make. Dark and woodsy porcini mushrooms add potent aroma and depth and are enlivened by the acidity of tomatoes and the lovely brightness of fresh herbs.
  • 3/4 oz 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 lb white mushrooms, sliced or quartered
  • 1 (15-oz) 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 tsp 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 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp 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.
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