Posts Tagged ‘bolete’

Zuppa di Porcini


Zuppa di Porcini

My trip to Italy (specifically Tuscany) inspired this vegetarian version …

See Zuppa di Porcini on Key Ingredient.

I spent Spring Break 2009 in Italy, so I couldn’t let that go by without blogging about it. Pizza, pancetta, gelato, white bread, and white flour pasta are abundant in Italy. All those items are either vorbuten or strictly limited from my personal diet, although I have to admit, barring the meats, I did sample them. Processed white wheat flour, according to my son who spent a term in Siena, is about the only food basic that’s still cheap, so of course there’s a lot of it. We found the prices of food to be exceptionally high in Italy at the exchange rates in effect during our trip. For the equivalent of $10 US you can get approximately one small a-la-carte side dish in most places. I went looking for the simple hearty peasant fare in Tuscany, and during the search I did find simple arrugula salads and soups that were both delicious and satisfying. On arriving home, I was fired up about duplicating or at least approximating some of those Italian dishes, and this soup based on boletus edulus (in Italy known as porcini) is one effort.

I had some frozen roasted chestnuts left over from Thanksgiving. I perked them up with a few minutes in the oven. I recommend chestnuts as a topping if you have any. I also had some sun dried tomatoes that I preserved way last summer. As promised, they gave this soup a nice summery zing that is lacking from the store tomatoes one buys at this time of year. I also threw a little chopped parsley on it.

Next time I make this soup I’ll increase the rosemary or augment with dried. Usually rosemary is overpowering, but the fresh rosemary that I purchased was underwhelming. I tossed some more on the soup and saved it, after realizing that the amount in the recipe was inadequate. Please note with rosemary that your mileage may vary.
This soup is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.

Nov. 1 Mushroom Foraging

I must have found over a dozen different mushrooms last Saturday.  I found   wolf farts but they were all passe.   The edible ones I found last week were pure white on the inside. Today’s catch were full of olive colored spores. (Yuck.) I found  darker brown ones that were still marshmallowy on the inside, but most of them had started to go kind of chartreuse.  Looked, but didn’t find anymore shaggymanes.  I got yellow fleshed boletes, which can be quite edible (gotta be super careful with those though!) but my specimens were too old to eat, and riddled with funny little bugs.  In the poisonous variety, we tentatively identified the clustered woodlover, naematoloma fasciculare, which can be mistaken for the smoky woodlover (n. capreoles). Also got a bunch of russula, but all were too old to eat, and were mostly the emetica variety,  which would make you throw up if you ate them. I think the ugly foul-smelling little fellows were deadly poison turnip bulb inocybes (inocybe napipes) and those guys shouldn’t even touch mushrooms that you’re going to eat. Also among the other junk I got was a slimy milky cap (dactarius mucidius) and not edible, as well as some agaricus augustus, which would have been edible had they been a bit younger and not contaminated. Oh well, as Thomas Edison once said, you learn as much from failure as you do from success.