Potato and Porcini Soup with Walnut Oil
15 g dried porcini
50 g unsalted butter
500 g potatoes
1 sprig thyme
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 fresh bay leaves
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
25 g parsley
300 ml milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the dried porcini in a heatproof measuring jug and pour over 500 ml boiling water to cover. Leave to soak for 20 minutes, then drain, reserve the soaking water and chop the mushrooms finely. Chop the onions. Using a vegetable peeler slice a thin sliver of zest from the lemon.
Melt butter in a large heavy bottomed pan, add the onion, and cook until lightly golden. Add the chopped porcini and continue cooking gently for a further 10 minutes.
Peel and dice the potatoes and add to the pan with the thyme, lemon zest, garlic, stock and reserved mushroom water. Season bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Hook out the lemon, bay leaves and what’s left of the thyme sprig. Add the parsley, remove from heat, leave to cool for about 10 minutes then puree until smooth then pass through a fine sieve.
Reheat and ladle into warmed soup bowls. Serve with a little swirl of walnut oil.From archive of my Cheat’s Dinner Party column Stella Magazine