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Ok, this one is fantastic.  I absolutely loved it.  David Rocco, in the introduction for this recipe, says This soup yields big return for little effort.  He also says that using fresh porcini is essential, though I went my own wooded path and used instead a combination of shitaake, cremini and portabello and loved, loved, loved the results.  This soup felt very special, though one would obviously have to be a mushroom fan to appreciate this.  I know that not everyone is, though the knowledge makes me sad, for I’m a girl who wants everyone to love all the same things that I love.   This is the first soup in the series that starts with this:

4 large fresh porcini mushrooms

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 sprig nepitella, or combination of equal parts mint and oregano

5 cups vegetable stock

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 eggs

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Clean the mushrooms by rubbing off any loose dirt with a clean dishtowel.  With a paring knife, cut off any tough parts of the base or the root.  Roughly chop the porcini.

Put your soup pot on medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter.  All the porcini go right into the pot.  Stir them around.  Once they’ve absorbed the oil and butter, add the herbs, a splash of the vegetable stock to prevent the porcini from sticking, and salt and pepper.  The porcini will soften up and you’ll have what looks like a thick sauce.  Pour in enough of the remaining vegetable stock to cover the porcini.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. 

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and a good handful of Parmigiano.  Drizzle that into the pot.  Stir it and you’ll see the egg break up and form into little silky strips.  This helps thicken the soup.  Serve immediately.  And then go buy Rocco’s book.  Not only is the food I’ve made from it delicious, but the book itself is a work of art.  Here’s a little peek:

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