Rustic Porcini-Cremini Mushroom Soup

Comfort food at its best! It’s really tough to beat a good, homemade mushroom soup and this one is especially no exception. Porcini mushrooms add a nutty and earthy flavor to the  soup and by roasting both the porcini and the cremini before making your soup, you’ll have a distinctly rich mushroom flavor! We add creme fraiche and Boursin Shallot & Chive cheese for subtle creamy texture.

Over the past few years, we have become avid mushrooms hunters. In the mountains of Idaho, where we live in the spring and summer, both morels and porcini start popping up as soon as the sun warms the earth enough to let them push their way to the surface.

Hunting for morels is one of the most addictive pastimes, next to porcini foraging and huckleberry picking. Just one more mushroom … please! It takes forever to find your first morel of the day. You must re-train your eyes to see only that distinct shape, different than everything around it, and yet strangely camouflaged. Suddenly with a stroke of good luck, you spy the first one. Where there’s one, there are inevitably more nearby. 

Porcini come out anywhere from a week to a month after morels, and you need good timing because they are best when they are firm and solid and just popping through the dirt. Porcini have a tendency to blow up really fast, and in just a few days they can become enormous and very spongy and they are not good at all like this, in my opinion. The first year we foraged for them, we were a little late and we picked monster mushrooms, only to toss them in anticipation of a better harvest the next spring. 

Both morels and porcini are very good dried, and you can either dry them on a window screen, which takes several days, or you can purchase a food dryer, which dries them in a matter of hours. Then store them away for use all winter long. We used our dried porcini in this soup recipe, but you can also purchase dried porcini at your local market and they are perfect in this recipe. They are amazing in pasta sauce, too!

It’s really tough to beat a good, homemade mushroom soup and this one is no exception. Porcini mushrooms enhance the flavor of the soup and by roasting both the porcini and the cremini before making your soup, you’ll have a distinctly rich mushroom flavor!

Rustic Cremini-Porcini Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound of whole cremini mushrooms half sliced and half quartered
  • 2 large shallots peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup mushroom stock from reconstituting dried porcini and deglazing the mushroom roasting pan
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons Boursin Shallot & Chive cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425⁰ F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Place dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour 1 cup of boiling water over mushrooms. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. When completely cooled, drain liquid from mushrooms and sieve through a strainer lined with a paper towel or cheesecloth to eliminate any dirt particles. Save this mushroom broth for the soup. Set porcini mushrooms aside.
  • Clean cremini mushrooms with a mushroom brush and trim the very bottom off the stems with a paring knife. Cut half of the mushrooms into quarters and slice the remaining mushrooms. Place all of the cremini and all of the porcini on the prepared baking sheet along with sliced shallots and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast mushrooms for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until mushrooms are beginning to brown. Flip with a spatula at least once during the roasting. Remove from oven when browned and cool. Remove mushrooms from pan to a soup pot. Add 1/2 cup of boiling water to the roasting pan to deglaze and scrape up any browned bits or pieces of mushrooms. Add this to the porcini broth.
  • Heat soup pot with roasted shallots and mushrooms over medium-low heat along with salt and white pepper. When heated through, add white wine and allow to boil down to evaporate almost completely. Add chicken or vegetable broth and mushroom stock. Bring just to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stir in 2 tablespoons Shallot and Chive Boursin cheese and half & half. Heat all the way through over medium heat. When ready to serve, spoon crème fraiche into the soup and stir until well integrated.
  • Serve soup hot with a dollop of extra crème fraiche and a good chunk of grilled French or Italian bread.

Roasted mushrooms and shallots and mushroom broth now ready to go into the soup!

Fresh-picked porcini mushrooms

Morels drying on a rack

Our first attempt at foraging for porcini render many that were over the hill! It’s best to pick the smaller porcini that are just emerging from the ground.

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