Mushroom Soup

Last year, I went to Russia for awhile and stayed with my friend Anna and her family in Moscow, which was a great experience for me. Moscow is an amazing place to spend time, with its plethora of museums and other cultural events. Anna has an absolutely adorable little brother, Vanya, and occasionally, we would go mushroom picking in the yard. Anna’s mother would then take our harvest and turn it into a meal, usually mushroom soup, which was so delectable that I had to recreate it when I returned to New York. So, this is my variation on Anna’s mother’s mushroom soup. I like to use imported dried mushrooms from Poland, because I think that they give the best flavour. If you cannot find these, porcini mushrooms are probably the best substitute – the Polish ones are a different type of porcini (I believe…). Usually, I supplement the dried mushrooms with some fresh ones – this time, I threw in some enokis, because I think that they are just the cutest, and some fresh porcini.

Mushroom Soup
1 medium onion, sliced
4 carrots, sliced into rounds
3 celery stalks, sliced
20 g dried mushrooms
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
2-3 tbs butter
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3/4″ cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream (garnish)
Dill (garnish)

1. If the dried mushrooms are whole, soak them in water for 4 hours to soften, then rinse well to remove any lingering sand and slice into strips. If they are already sliced, soak them for 1 hour and rinse.
2. Melt the butter in a stock pot. Add the onion and saute for about 2 minutes, then add the carrot, celery, mushroom, potato, salt and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are slightly softened.
3. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4. Top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with dill just before serving.

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