Since confessing my unconditional love for mushrooms (here), I have posted quite a few mushroom based recipes. But the recipe I am about to share with you is the best of them all. It is simple. Rich. Fragrant. Delicious.
Served traditionally on Christmas Eve, dried porcini soup or bisque has a gorgeous deep earthy flavour while the meaty chunks of mushrooms provide a good protein base in this otherwise vegan dish. For me the dish is also something else aside from the beautiful balance of rich flavours.
It is an utterly magical food memory because it reminds me of Christmas. And snow. And pine trees. And Santa. And of course of the weary traveller, for whom every family saves a spare setting at the dinner table, to welcome him into their home and offer a place to rest and recover before he sets off again on his journey to a land afar. I’m not sure if anyone like that has ever turned up…, but the tradition is nice. It brings people together helping them forget about their worries, sorrows and feuds that otherwise exist between them.
And since we used to open our gifts on Christmas Eve, it goes without saying that just like Pavlov’s classical conditioning theory applies to dogs, bells and food, it just as well applies to me, dried porcini soup and memories of Christmas. They all go hand in hand, so please enjoy the soup and dream of another joyful Christmas.
Dried porcini mushroom soup [bisque] with noodles
This particular soup is also a great risotto stock. Simply prepare the soup (omit pasta) then gradually add to about 1 cup arborio rice, stirring until the soup is absorbed into the rice and it has cooked to just al dente.
- 40g dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup salt reduced vegetable stock
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 30g angel hair spaghetti // gluten free pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- (fresh flat leaf parsley to garnish)
Soak dried porcini in 2 cups of cold water for at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime, fry off the onion in a little olive oil until golden brown and cook the pasta. Allow both to cool. Using kitchen scissors cut cooked spaghetti to roughly 1 inch in length.
Place onion, stock, mushrooms and the water from soaking into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the soup has thickened a little. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve steaming hot over cooled pasta noodles (and sprinkle with chopped flat leaf parsley).
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