We are well into the winter season and many Italians choose to prepare soups for their family, especially for dinner, to keep everyone warm with a delicious tasty meal that can often be served as a so called "Piatto Unico" (one course meal) . Below you can find a recipe for a porcini mushroom and potato soup. Of course we all know how good and special porcini are, but if you cannot easily find them or you want to try this soup using some of Italy's Eclipsed Mushrooms just try it out with different ones.
(enough to serve six people)
*1.5 kg fresh porcini, carefully cleaned
*2 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces
*Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*5 garlic cloves, peeled
*100ml double cream
*1 ciabatta loaf, cut into 6 slices at an angle for crostini
*extra virgin olive oil
Simmer the potatoes in 11/2 times their volume of salted water until they begin to break up, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, separate the porcini caps from the stalks and roughly chop the stalks and 4 of the garlic cloves together. Add to the cooked potatoes and simmer together for 5 minutes. Using a potato masher or slotted spoon start to mash the potatoes into a pulp. Continue until potato and water have become a thick soup.
Slice across the porcini caps as finely as you can, then add to the soup. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Stir together for 2-3 minutes, allowing the porcini slices to infuse their flavors into the rest of the soup, but retain a little texture, being barely cooked.
Toast the crostini and rub with the remaining halved clove of garlic. Put a crostino in each serving bowl and spoon in the soup. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley on top and serve.