Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.
"So, let's just say your friend -- or husband -- is a mushroom forager and comes home with a bunch of porcini mushrooms," muses Barb. Now what? Since the weather (thankfully) has turned cool enough to fire up your oven, it's time to start thinking about fall dishes, and a hearty wild mushroom soup epitomizes autumn. "This is an old Bon Appitit recipe that I tweaked," says Barb, "and it's fantastic for this time of year." Barb highly suggests using an immersion blender when making the soup. "Just go get one of these," she advises. I couldn't agree more.
Wild mushroom soup
2 cups warm water 3/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms* 1/4 stick butter 1 cup onion, chopped 1 cup peeled carrots, chopped 1/2 cup leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped 1 1/2 pounds fresh wild mushrooms (such as crimini or stemmed shiitake), sliced 1/2 cup dry sherry 4 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth 1 cup peeled russet potato, chopped 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup sour cream Chopped fresh parsley or chives for garnish
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*Dried porcini mushrooms are available at Marczyk Fine Foods, or from your friendly neighborhood forager.
1. Combine 2 cups warm water and dried porcini mushrooms in small bowl. Let mushrooms soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove mushrooms from liquid. Squeeze excess liquid from mushrooms back into bowl. Strain 1 cup soaking liquid into another small bowl, leaving any sediment behind. 2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and leeks. Sauté until vegetables are tender and pale golden, about 10 minutes. 3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and fresh mushrooms; sauté until mushrooms are tender and brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in porcini mushrooms and wine. Cook until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. 4. Add 4 cups stock, potato, thyme, bay leaf and 1 cup reserved porcini soaking liquid. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. 5. Discard bay leaf. Cool soup slightly. Puree soup with an immersion blender. Or, to keep the nice mushroom texture, only puree ½. 6. Mix in sour cream. Bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. 7. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or chives. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving, thinning with more stock, if desired.)