This soup yields big return for little effort. Using fresh porcini mushrooms is essential. Porcini have such an intense aroma and flavor that you don’t have to start off with onions or garlic—the mushrooms do all the work. The soup has an almost silky, delicate texture, yet it’s meaty and flavorful enough to be comfort food.
Zuppa di PorciniPrint This
- 4 large fresh porcini mushrooms
- 4 tbsp (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter
- 1 sprig nepitella, or fresh mint
- 5 cups (1.25 L) vegetable stock
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, QB
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (250 mL) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Clean the mushrooms by rubbing off any loose dirt with a clean dishtowel. With a paring knife, cut off any tough parts of the base or the root. Roughly chop the porcini.
Put your soup pot on medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter. All the porcini go right into the pot. Stir them around. Once they’ve absorbed the oil and butter, add the herbs, a splash of the vegetable stock to prevent the porcini from sticking, and salt and pepper. The porcini will soften up and you’ll have what looks like a thick sauce.
Pour in enough of the remaining vegetable stock to cover the porcini. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and a good handful of Parmigiano. Drizzle that into the pot. Stir it and you’ll see the egg break up and form into little silky strips. This helps thicken the soup.
In Italy, we use the herb nepitella for it's unique flavour. If you can’t get your hands on it, fresh mint is fine.