I call this crowd-pleasing soup my magic recipe. It is so amazing that so few ingredients – and a soup made in a matter of minutes – can have so much depth of flavor. It really is a fine example of the miracles of infusion. The dried cèpe (porcini) mushroom powder packs a maximum of fragrance and flavor and takes well to many variations: pair it with paper-thin slices of raw domestic mushrooms or seared domestic or wild mushrooms showered in the bowl at serving time; prepare with dried morel powder in place of cèpes; top with thin slices of raw black truffles; or add a dollop of mushroom powder-infused whipped cream.
A large jar with a lid, a 3-quart (3 l) heavy-duty saucepan with a lid, 8 warmed, shallow soup bowls.
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons cèpe powder (see Note)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 cups (750 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, or chive oil for garnish
To prepare cèpe powder, coarsely chop or cut with a scissors about 2 ounces (30 g) of best-quality dried cèpe mushrooms. Working in batches, grind them to a fine powder in an electric spice mill. This should yield about 8 tablespoons of powder. Store the powder in a small jar, tightly sealed, in a cool, dry place, for up to 6 months.
1. If time permits, combine the cream and mushroom powder in a jar, seal, and refrigerate for 24 hours to infuse the cream with the mushroom flavor and aroma. (Alternatively, combine the cream and mushroom powder in the heavy-duty saucepan, bring just to a simmer, cover, remove from the heat, and set aside for 30 minutes to infuse the cream.)
2. At serving time, in the saucepan, combine the infused cream, salt, and stock and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning.
3. Serve in the warmed soup bowls, garnished with chives and a few drops of oil.
VARIATIONS: Add sliced raw domestic or wild mushrooms to the soup and cook for several minutes; add grilled, sliced cèpes or domestic or wild mushrooms; for a decadent flourish add truffle matchsticks at serving time.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The soup can be prepare up to 3 days in advance and stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
This recipe was first published in My Master Recipes. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.