Dried and Fresh Mushroom Soup
I was pleasantly surprised how graceful this flavor turned out. Serve hot or cold; ideal for a little pre-dinner teaser.
Dried and Fresh Mushroom Soup by Jacques Pépin
.5 ounce (.5 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup milk (or vegan equivalent)
4-6 large mushrooms, cleaned
1.5 teaspoons olive oil
.75 cup cubed (.5-inch) onion
1 small leek, trimmed (leaving some of the green), split, washed, and thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 medium to large potato (about 6 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
2.5 cups water
Soak the dried cèpes in the milk for at least 1 hour. Lift out the mushrooms, strain the milk, and reserve, leaving the sandy residue behind.
Cut enough of the fresh mushroom caps into matchsticks to measure 3/4 cup. Reserve for garnish. Coarsely chop the remaining mushrooms.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. When it is hot, add the onion and leek and sauté for 2 minutes over low heat. Add the ceèpes, potato, chopped fresh mushrooms, salt, and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
Puree the soup in the saucepan using a hand blender, or puree it in a food processor and return it to the pan. Add the julienned mushroom caps and bring to a boil. Stir in the reserved milk and bring to a boil. Serve immediately.
*I ended up using about 5 of the white mushrooms. I do recommend using the mushroom matchsticks. It adds an extra texture to the soup, plus the garnish really is pretty and makes the soup look significantly more appetizing.