The best time of the year is just around the corner and the first fruit of the fungi can be found almost everywhere. The high humidity and cold temperatures of this season work in favour of mycelium, bringing us a vast variety of delicious mushrooms. On my short staycation in Lake District, I found a few beautiful Porcini mushrooms that you can see in the picture as well as multiple Larch Boletes referred to in my country as butter mushrooms. They have slimy caps and are perfect for sauces, soups or pickles. As the name suggests Larch Bolete can be found growing in symbiosis with Larch trees starting in July till November.
This is my family recipe for a delicious and filling mushroom soup, perfect after a fungi hunt. It contains pasta and a variety of vegetables that elevate the mushroom flavour. The recipe works with Boletus mushrooms but if not available you can prepare them with chestnut mushrooms instead.
In Poland, mushroom picking is very popular among families and the knowledge is passed from generation to generation. Make sure to always pick mushrooms with someone who knows what they doing, or pick specimens that are hard to confuse, I always recommend signing up for a foraging experience! It is great fun and you can learn something new! :)
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This recipe makes 4 portions
400g (14.1oz) of sliced Boletus mushrooms (or chestnut mushrooms)
1 medium-size onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 medium carrots, small dice
half celery stick, small dice
3-inch piece of leek, small dice
1 large potato small dice
1tbsp olive oil
1tsp of butter
1,5L of vegetable stock
150g (5.3oz) of penne pasta
100ml of double cream
1 bay leaf
parsley to garnish
1tsp of yoghurt per plate mixed in before serving (optional)
1. In a frying pan, preheat 1tbsp of olive oil. Add diced onion and 4 sliced garlic cloves, cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened. Add sliced mushrooms with 1tsp of butter and turn up the heat to medium-high, cook for another 5 minutes. Once mushrooms are done remove from the heat and set aside ready for later.
2. In a large pot add 1,5L of vegetable stock, carrots, celery, leek, potato and bay leaf. Bring to the boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
3. Next, add 150g of penne pasta and cook for another 10 minutes.
4. Add fried mushrooms, onions and garlic. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
5. At this point, pasta should be cooked through and mushrooms should hold the shape, if the soup seems too thick add a little bit more water.
6. Take one ladle of soup with no solids out of the pot and mix it with 100ml of double cream. Pour the mixture back to the pot. (This prevents the cream from splitting)
7. Check the seasoning and serve garnished with freshly cracked black pepper and chopped parsley. You can mix in 1tsp of yoghurt just before serving to increase the sourness to your liking. Enjoy!
Check out my other soup recipes:
Żurek - Polish Traditional Soup (prepared with fermented rye starter)