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Porcini mushroom soup

Porcini mushroom soup
serves 4
prep 20 mins, plus standing cook 1 hr
freeze, without the bread, for up to 3 months

Ingredients:


30g (1oz) dried porcini mushrooms
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
1 tsp thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
115g (4oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 celery sticks with leaves, finely chopped
400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
750ml (1 ¼ pints) vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ stale ciabatta or small crusty white loaf, torn into chunks

Prepare Ahead:


You can make the soup to the end of step 3 up to 2 days in advance; keep chilled until needed and reheat when ready to serve.

Preparation:


1 - Put the dried porcini in a heatproof bowl, pour over 300ml (20fl oz) boiling water, and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, then chop any large pieces of mushroom.

2 - 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.

3 - Add the tomatoes, porcini, and stock. Strain the soaking liquid through muslin or a fine sieve into the pan. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

4 - Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the 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.

Good with: Bowls of spiced olives, and white crusty bread.

Variation: Fresh Porcini Mushroom Soup Replace the dried porcini with 115g (4oz) fresh porcini. Do not soak them; instead, slice and add them to the soup along with the chestnut mushrooms. You will need an extra 250ml (8fl oz) vegetable stock.

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