PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes soaking the mushrooms and making the stock
COOKING TIME: 1 hour
30g/1oz dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp olive or hemp oil
85g/3oz/½ cup spelt
1 tbsp butter
1 celery stalk, finely chopped, with the leaves reserved
1 large red onion, finely chopped
400g/14oz/4½ cups trimmed and coarsely
chopped mixed wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, horns of plenty and oysters
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1l/35fl oz/4½ cups Beef Stock or ready-made stock
1 bouquet garni made with the celery leaves,
1 bay leaf and several parsley and thyme sprigs tied together
1 large waxy potato, diced
1 small handful of dill, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sour cream or smetana, to serve
Put the porcini mushrooms and at least 200ml/ 7fl oz/scant 1cup boiling water in a heatproof bowl and leave to soak for 30 minutes until tender. Strain through a muslin-lined/cheese cloth lined sieve and set the liquid aside. Squeeze the mushrooms and trim the stalks, if necessary, then thinly slice the caps and stalks and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan over a high heat. Add the spelt and stir for 2–3 minutes until it gives off a toasted aroma. Immediately transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter with the remaining oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the celery and onion and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the wild mushrooms and garlic, season with salt and fry for 5–8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms soften and give off their liquid.
Stir in the spelt and fry for 2 minutes, then add the stock, bouquet garni, porcini mushrooms and reserved soaking liquid and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then stir in the potato and simmer for 15–20 minutes until the spelt and potato are tender. Stir in the dill and adjust the salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve with sour cream.
I Love Soup © Beverly LeBlanc 2016 published by Nourish Books, London
Image Credit: From I Love Soup by Beverly LeBlanc © Nourish Books 2016, commissioned photography by William Lingwood