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Recipe for :

Mushroom Soup - Zuppa di Fungi

This recipe comes from Chef Jonathan Arthur of Italy with Relish (Italian cooking holidays)

"I have always seemed to find myself by accident or design, in a kitchen. As the youngest child of a farming family in Cornwall I was always the one helping my mother make butter, bread and of course pasties. As a teenager in school we were allowed to chose between metalwork or domestic science, as the former was taught by a notorious sadist and the latter was full of girls and I was the only boy in the cooking class" - Italy with Relish web site

A variation on the theme of "Pasta Fagiole" or "Pasta Fazul" as the Dean Martin song has it. (You need a big sauce pan) I invented it for a group from the Chinese consulate, being told that both they and their host, an Italian industrialist could not eat cheese but loved pasta and mushrooms. It is now a favourite amongst our friends.

Ingredients

300g tagliatelle (also known as fettuccine)
30g dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 tin borlotti beans (haricot or red kidney beans can substitute)
500g of fresh mushrooms, oyster for instance.
1 carrot
1/2 onion
1 stick of celery

Method

  • Soak the dried porcini in 1/4 litre of tepid water for about half an hour while you get on with the rest.
  • Finely chop the onion, carrot and celery and brown slowly in olive oil, slice and add the mushrooms, sauté slowly.
  • When cooked add 2 litres of water (stock can be added) and bring to the boil. At this point you can either mash up the beans and add to the mix, or if you have an immersion blender just throw them and give the mix a 30 second belt with the blender.
  • By now the dried porcini should be re-hydrated so take them out and add them to the soup and carefully pour in the water they have been soaking in, being careful not to add the last bit of liquid in the bowl as there will be bits of sand and grit at the bottom.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and boil for at least half an hour.
  • Fifteen minutes before serving crunch the tagliatelli up in your hands to make pieces no longer that an inch then boil in the soup mix, garnish with chopped parsley.

Chef Jonathan Arthur
Italy with Relish

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