Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#56 Cream of Porcini

Cream of Porcini

There are times when you need a very simple but also very elegant dish to serve as a light first course. Well, look no further. This mushroom soup does exactly that. It is quick to make, has a nice smooth texture, smells great and tastes divine. Your guests will love it!
Making your own chicken stock is so easy, it barely needs your attention, and you could cook it while reading a book, or preparing the rest of the meal. Even better, you can make it a few days ahead and store it the refrigerator. It will keep for 3 days.

To serve 3

For the chicken stock:
wings and backbone of a chicken
1 leek
½ red onion
1 carrot
1 small parsnip
2 celery sticks
stalks of 15 shitake mushrooms
5 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
10 black pepper corns
2 allspice corns

For the soup:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, lower white part only, very finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
30 g dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp fine semolina
750 ml chicken stock
a pinch of dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
black pepper
5 tbsp single cream + another 2tbsp for decoration

First, make the stock.
Put everything in a deep pan, cover with water and bring to the boil.
Skim off the impurities, lower the heat and cook on very low for 3 hours.
Strain and discard the chicken and vegetables.
Allow the stock to cool and transfer to the fridge, where it will keep for 3 days.

To make the soup:
Heat the oil in a deep pan and when hot enough, throw in the leeks. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, stir for a second and add the mushrooms.
Cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
Add the semolina and start adding the stock, ladle by ladle.
Season with salt and black pepper and cook on medium heat, for about 20 minutes.
Leave to cool a bit then liquidise until very smooth.
Stir in the cream and reheat very gently.
Serve in coffee cups for more drama ;)

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