By: Chef Richard Category: Soup Makes: 4 to 6 servings
“Minestone” usually refers to Italian soups featuring tomato, vegetables, beans and pasta. They vary from household to household but traditionally feature a diverse mix of vegetables, no one more important than any other. This minestrone focuses on fresh wild mushrooms, inviting you to select your own from among such irresistible candidates as morels, chanterelles, enoki, cèpes (porcini), hen-of-the-woods and black trumpets. Choose one to emphasize its unique flavor, or use a mix for a more complex result. If you wish to purchase a store-bought mushroom stock and use it in place of the chicken stock, it would of course amplify the soup’s theme even further.
Flavor Building: The fresh mushrooms can be replaced by ½ ounce dried porcini, soaked in ½ cup hot water for 20 minutes, drained and chopped. Fresh sage, summer savory, lemon thyme or marjoram can replace the basil and parsley. Finish the soup with a grating of pecorino romano cheese, a drizzle of porcini oil or white truffle oil or a shaving of black truffle. Add the rind of a piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano to the soup while it simmers.