Zuppa di Porcini with Mascarpone Crostini: Porcini Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 pound porcinis, stems roughly chopped, caps cut into thin strips
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 12 thin slices baguette, toasted
- Brown Chicken Stock:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 1/2 pounds chicken wings, backs, and bones
- 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 bunch parsley stems
4 cups chicken stock, recipe follows
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter together until the butter foams and subsides. Add the onions, porcini stems, and parsley, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring regularly, until the mushrooms are very soft, occasionally moistening the pan with small amounts of the chicken stock.
Once the vegetables are very soft, remove from heat and place the mixture in a blender. Blend to a fine consistency and return to the soup pot over low heat. Stir in the remaining chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, add the reserved porcini caps and simmer 20 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl mix the mascarpone with the rosemary and the pepper. Smear the mascarpone mixture on to the baguette slices and place 3 smeared slices in each of 4 bowls. Ladle the soup over the crostini serve immediately.Brown Chicken Stock:
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Add all the chicken parts and brown all over, stirring to avoid burning. Remove the chicken and reserve. Add the carrots, onions, and celery to the pot and cook until soft and browned. Return the chicken to the pot and add 3 quarts of water, the tomato paste, peppercorns, and parsley. Stir with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned chicken and vegetables bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a low simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours, occasionally skimming excess fat. Remove from heat, strain, and press on the solids with the bottom of a ladle to extract out all liquids. Stir the stock to facilitate cooling and set aside. Refrigerate stock in small containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
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