Zuppa Di Funghi Recipe from Mushroom Cook-off on October 6, 2012
I received many requests for the mushroom soup recipe after yesterday’s cook-off at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City, so I decided to post it here for easy access. I want to thank everyone who came to the cook-off, sampled my soup and voted for me. I did win first place in the professional judging AND People’s Choice! We had over 8 gallons of soup and blew threw all of it a little over halfway through the event! Wow!
So, the recipe can be found below. A couple of things first:
The key to good mushroom flavor is to use dried porcini mushrooms along with the fresh. The dried porcini provide the boost in mushroom flavor to any mushroom dish. I used them in the lasagne I made last year and used them again in the soup this year. The best way to use them is to grind them in a food processor and then add them to the aromatics to soften them and release their flavor.
Gremolata is traditionally made with lemon peel, parsley and raw garlic and is served with osso bucco. I simply replaced the lemon peel with bacon. You need to make sure that everything is very finely chopped (a good task for the food processor) and the ratio is 4:2:1 parsley, bacon, garlic, or parsley, lemon, garlic. For example: 4 tbs. parsley, 2 tbs. bacon, 1 tbs. garlic.
Lastly, keep in mind that the recipe is merely a guideline. Feel free to experiment and substitute with different ingredients. That’s the beauty of cooking: taking someone else’s recipe and making it your own—buon appetito!
Creamy Mushroom Soup with Bacon Gremolata (Makes approximately 2 qts.)
8 tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs. fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 1/2 qts. chicken stock
1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, finely ground in a food processor
1/2 cup ruby or tawny port
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fully cooked bacon (about 6 slices)
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
4-6 garlic cloves, finely minced (this is a to taste ingredient so add a little at a time to get it to where YOU want it)
Melt the butter in a large sauce pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallot and saute’ until softened about 5 minutes. Add garlic and dried porcini and saute another 3-4 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, and saute until the mushrooms have released their liquid about 15-20 minutes. Add lemon juice and saute 3-4 minutes more; add port and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add chicken stock and puree the soup with a stick blender or add in small batches to a regular blender. Return soup to the stove , add cream and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning and serve with bacon gremolata.
For the gremolata, simply mix the chopped bacon, parsley and garlic together in a bowl and serve with the soup.
Note: For more texture, add another 1 lb. sliced mushrooms to the soup that have been sauteed in butter and seasoned with salt and pepper.