Sometimes I prepare recipes again and again and then somehow just forget about them. Happened to me with this mushroom soup. When I lived in London for a few years, Marks & Spencer sold such a wonderfully flavorful and delicious mushroom soup I never even thought of preparing my own. But as these shops do, all of a sudden they stopped selling it. So I saw the error of my ways and found this recipe to prepare my own and just as tasty soup. And then forgot about it. Totally. This Tuesday it was freezing cold and our Provençal market had but two items in abundance: walnuts and mushrooms. And all of a sudden I remembered and then even found my old recipe - the search took longer than the cooking...
5 dried porcini and 600 gr (1.3 pounds) chestnut mushrooms
2 shallots and 2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 l (2 cups) vegetable stock
3 tbsp crème fraîche (thick cream)
salt and pepper, some stalks of flat leaf (Italian) parsley
Soak the dried porcini in 1/4 l (1 cup) warm water until soft. Clean the chestnut mushrooms with a brush, save two mushrooms for decoration, roughly chop up the rest of the mushrooms. Peel and also roughly chop the shallots and garlic. Heat a splash of olive oil, add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, the leaves of the tyme and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add the soaked porcini. Pour the soaking water of the porcini through a filter to catch any remaining dirt, then add the filtered soaking water and the vegetable stock to the mushrooms and season with a few rounds of the pepper mill and a pinch of salt. Let simmer for about 10 minutes before liquidizing the mixture with a stick blender. Stir in the crème fraîche, adjust the seasoning if necessary and decorate with mushroom slices and some chopped parsley.