This mushroom soup is surprisingly simple to prepare, yet so delicious and elegant. The star of the dish is fresh truffle. I used black winter truffle, because that is what’s available at the moment. Although truffle isn’t cheap — this was 1 euro per gram — a small truffle of only 14 grams sufficed for 4 servings. You could use any type of fresh mushrooms including simple button mushrooms, but with wild mushrooms it will be even better. Another vital ingredient is dried mushrooms. I used dried porcini mushrooms, but a mix of various dried mushrooms may even be better. Making the mushroom stock from scratch is worth the effort — you don’t want to use store-bought bouillon for this!
For 4 servings as an appetizer
250 grams (.55 lb) fresh mushrooms, I used mixed wild mushrooms
1 fresh truffle, about 15 grams (1/2 oz)
40 grams (1.5 oz) dried mushrooms, I used porcini
200 grams (1 cup) minced onion
200 grams (1 cup) minced celery
200 grams (1 cup) minced leek
200 grams (1 cup) minced carrot
2 garlic cloves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and add 1 litre (4 cups) of hot water. Allow the mushrooms to soak while you continue the preparation of the stock.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add minced carrot, celery, onion, and leek, as well as 4 sprigs of fresh thyme and 2 whole garlic cloves.
Clean and trim the fresh mushrooms and add all the trimmings to the pan.
Stir over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables start to turn golden. This step is important for developing the flavor of the stock.
Now add the dried mushrooms with the soaking water…
…and some black peppercorns.
Bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow to simmer for 1 hour.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve, pressing down on the solids to get out as much liquid as possible. The aim is to get maximum flavor, not a clear stock.
Pour the mushroom stock into a pot and bring to a boil. Season with salt. When the stock boils, add the fresh wild mushrooms, and cook them in the stock for about 10 minutes.
Take some nice looking mushrooms out of the stock and reserve for garnish. For 4 servings I selected 12 pieces (3 per serving).
Puree the soup with an immersion blender. You could also use a regular blender.
When the soup is smooth, bring it back to a boil. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve the soup on preheated plates. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and the reserved mushrooms, and shave the truffle…
…such that each serving has some nice slivers of truffle. Serve at once.
This is great with an elegant but earthy red wine, such as an aged Barbaresco, Roero, Ghemme, or other aged Nebbiolo, or a Red Burgundy.
Mole poblano is an amazing sauce from Mexico that includes lots of chiles as well as chocolate.