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Lentil soup with mushrooms and fresh herbs

This recipe from Southern Italy is prepared with a combination of dried porcini and fresh oyster or cremini mushrooms. Its earthy aroma and wonderful rich taste captures the essence of wild mushrooms just collected from the forest. 

Recipe from Fagioli: The Bean Cuisine of Italy by Judith Barrett. 

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup Puglia lentils or French-Style Green Lentils
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion finely, chopped
  • 1 fresh Italian plum tomato, seeded, cored, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ pound fresh oyster or cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

Serves 6

  1. Soak the dried porcini in 2 cups hot (not boiling) water for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the soaking liquid. Strain the liquid through several pieces of cheesecloth, and set aside. Finely chop the porcini.
  2. Combine the chopped porcini with the lentils, celery, onion, tomato, and bay leaves in a heavy 6-quart soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the strained porcini liquid and 6 cups cold water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to
  3. medium-low; simmer until the lentils are tender and the soup thickens, about 45 minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, pepper flakes, and fresh mushrooms. Gently cook the mushrooms, stirring, until tender and lightly brown; season to taste with salt.
  6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and add some of the mushrooms to each serving.


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