Porcini Mushroom Soup
This hearty Italian country soup has deep, earthy flavours. Check the mushrooms after soaking, as there may be bits of dirt or straw that need removing.
1 Hour 20 Minutes Plus 30 mins standing
30g of dried porcini mushrooms
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tsp of chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp of fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
115g of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 celery sticks with leaves, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
750ml of vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 stale ciabatta or small crusty white loaf, torn into chunks
Put the dried porcini mushrooms in a heatproof bowl, pour over 300ml of boiling water, and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, then chop any large pieces of porcini.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onions, cover, and leave to cook for 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the rosemary, thyme, garlic, chestnut mushrooms, and celery, and continue cooking, uncovered, until the celery has softened.
Add the tomatoes, porcini, and the stock. Strain the soaking liquid through a piece of muslin or a fine sieve into the pan. Bring the soup to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the chunks of bread. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Spoon into deep bowls and drizzle each serving with a little olive oil.
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