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Soup of boletus mushrooms made like a soft cream

(zuppa di funghi porcini fatta a cremina scorrevole)

  • A)
  • 500 grams of boletus mushrooms (also rejects)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 ripe tomatoes cut in small pieces
  • a small bunch of "nepitella"
  • 6 spoons of olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • B)
  • 30 grams of dried boletus mushrooms
  • a stock cube for broth of boletus mushrooms
  • a white onion, of medium size, cut in small pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • the small leaves of 5-6 branches of "nepitella"
  • 60 grs of butter
  • 1/2 meat stock cube
  • 1/4 of skimmed milk, very hot
  • white flour
  • 8 canapés of stale bread
Take a small saucepan and put all the ingredients indicated at point A), cook for 10-12 minutes over a low heat, covering the pan with a lid and turning sometimes.
In the meanwhile take a pot and let boil for 2-3 minutes, half litre of water and the boletus stock cube in order to obtain a broth quite aromatic. Take out from the heat, put in the pot the dried mushrooms to reconstitute them for 10 minutes.
Now take a blender and put inside the onion, the two garlic cloves, the "nepitella", 30 grs of butter, half of the broth of dried mushrooms and mix until you will obtain a smooth cream; put this cream in another saucepan over a quite low heat and cook for 7-8 minutes, turning this stuff very often. At this time back to the saucepan with the boletus mushrooms cooked in the oil, point A), remove the bunch of "nepitella" and, with the blender, mix all this stuff until you will obtain a sort of purée; then keep it to use afterwards.
Now mix in the blender the dried mushrooms and the remaining broth (where the dried mushrooms have been reconstituted) together with the other 30 grs of butter, the half meat stock cube, a spoon of white flour, until you will have a quite thick mixture, but still smooth; add this mixture to the cooking purée in the saucepan over the heat. Turn and mix very well, add also the purée of mushrooms cooked in the oil, turn and mix once again, cook for 20 minutes, very slowly, adding gradually the hot milk when the cream starts to become thicker. Taste and add, if necessary, some salt or some more water or milk to adjust the density of the cream; then switch off the heat. Serve in soup plates with 2 tasted canapés in each plate and, once on the table, liven up with abundant grinded white pepper.
If mushrooms are good, you will obtain a fabulous soup, whose gorgeous smell will whet the appetite, because it is gushing and appetizing. The word "good" mushrooms means fresh and scented mushrooms and not withered after many days in the refrigerator. For this type of soup you can use also mushrooms remained from other preparations.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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