Although I rarely take to cooking savory meals as this area is not only so admirably and passionately covered by Cyrus but my own inclination usually makes me ignore those ventures in the kitchen not involving any doughs and/or creams, jellies or sugary delights, I nevertheless do sometimes stray away from my own area of passion and moderate expertise. Particularly when Cyrus is traveling, I experiment a bit on my own with sometimes an outcome worth presenting.
So last December, when Cyrus was on travels for a while, I got inspired to swing the cooking spoon by what can most likely be termed an excess of holiday spirit and the mouth-watering and irresistible display of out-of-the-ordinary goodies in the supermarkets and grocery stores of Berlin typical for the holiday season.
Amongst a few other dishes, I believe this one was one of the major successes. I am particularly partial to porcini which have a beautiful taste and aroma on their own, but the crucial element in the recipe is the fresh oregano which compliments the fine taste of the porcini to perfection.
Given the season, I used frozen porcini for this recipe which worked out fine. If you use frozen porcini, make sure that you properly defrost the porcini before using them.
Ingredients (for around 4 starter portions):
- 200 grams of porcini (Steinpilze) – fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1 shallot
- 1 medium-sized potato
- 3 to 4 stems of fresh oregano
- 1 table spoon of butter
- 100 ml of white wine
- 400 ml of vegetable stock
- 200 ml of water
- 250 grams of cream
- 1 table spoon olive oil
- freshly ground pepper and salt
- Clean the fresh porcini and cut them into slices. Set aside approx. 1/4 of the porcini for later use.
- Finely chop the shallot. Peel the potato, wash it and cut it into small dices.
- Separate the oregano leaves from the stems. Wash them and set aside a few leaves for decoration. Finely cut the rest of the leaves.
- Heat up the butter in a pot, preferably a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and let it melt. The butter should by no means go brown – if this should happen, discard it and try again over reduced the heat. Fry the shallot and the potato in the butter for a few minutes. Add the porcini except for the portion set aside for later use as well as the oregano (except those leaves set aside for decoration) and fry for approx. 2 more minutes over medium heat. The mixture should be at most lightly brown.
- Add the wine and reduce the liquid until it becomes creamy. Add the vegetable stock, the cream and approx. 200 ml of water. Let simmer in the open pot for around 20 minutes until the soup has a nice creamy consistency. Season with freshly ground pepper and a bit of salt. Puree the soup using a blender/hand blender. Keep warm without further boiling it.
- Heat up the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Once again, do not exceed medium heat – the pan should be hot enough so the porcini will fry, but they should not get burned in the process. Fry the porcini until soft and nicely browned, season with freshly ground pepper.
- Place the fried porcini into pre-heated soup dishes. Pour the soup over them. Decorate with a few leaves of fresh oregano. Enjoy!