Recipe of the Week: Acquacotta Soup with Chanterelles

By Compiled by: Sara Jones

November 10, 2014

Warm up and celebrate the local mushroom bounty with this hearty Italian "stone soup"

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Chanterelle season is still abloom, and whether you’re foraging your own or letting someone else get dirty, Becky Selengut has just the recipe. A Seattle-based chef, writer, cooking instructor and bona fide mushroom expert, Selengut recently authored the cookbook Shroom (Andrews McMeel Press, September 2014), and her Acquacotta Soup below is an earthy sampling.

According to Selengut, Acquacotta actually means “cooked water,” and is “the veritable stone soup of Italian cuisine,” made with a lot of staples that frugal Italians keep close at hand: garden veggies, bread, eggs. She feels that the depth of porcini in the background helps balance the chanterelles’ fruity, tender quality, and she encourages readers not to shy away from the seemingly extensive shopping list: “If you don’t have any mushroom stock,” for example, “use water and feel totally authentic while doing so.” Learn more about Selengut, her cookbooks, her classes, her instructional videos and more here.

Ingredients

  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 3 stalks celery, small diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, leaves cut into bite-size pieces, stems discarded
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 cups homemade Mushroom Stock (page xxiii in Shroom), or water
  • ½ cup white wine or dry (white) vermouth
  • 1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 dried bay leaf

FOR SERVING

  • 4 slices crusty bread, toasted
  • 1 clove garlic, halved lengthwise
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano (use a vegetable peeler)
  • Drizzle of your favorite extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 poached or fried eggs (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Rehydrate the porcini in 1½ cups boiling water (for instructions, refer to the video on rehydrating shrooms at shroomthecookbook.com). Set aside for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the chanterelles, along with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Sauté until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot and then the onion, celery, cabbage, kale, red pepper flakes, and the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Sauté until the vegetables get nice and soft, about 15 minutes (add a little stock if it starts to get dry). Pull the porcini out of its soaking liquid, reserving the liquid. Chop the porcini and add to the sautéing vegetables. Deglaze the pot with the wine, making sure to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Add the cheese rind, if using, stock, tomatoes with their juices, bay leaf, and the strained porcini liquid to the soup pot (be careful to hold some back in the container, as sediment may have settled to the bottom). Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and let the soup cook for about 15 minutes. Add the chanterelles back in and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the cheese rind before serving.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the bread in a toaster or under the broiler and then scrape the garlic clove on one side of each slice. Serve the soup in wide bowls along with a piece of the garlic toast. Garnish with the parsley leaves, shaved cheese curls, and a drizzle of good olive oil. Add cracked black pepper over the top. If you end up poaching or frying the eggs, lay the toast in the middle of the soup and serve the egg on it (sprinkle the cheese shavings over the egg).

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Number of Servings (Yield): 4

Wine pairing: Italian Barbera

 

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