I haven’t been in the mood to cook even though I’ve been spending a lot of time at home. But while inside the Grand Central Terminal Market earlier, I was inspired to go back to the kitchen after I saw a small container of really fragrant dried porcini mushrooms on sale for $3.50. I turned to soup-making after assessing the contents of the cupboard, and whadayaknow, I had a porcini-flavored dried salami in stock: I chopped a few small slivers and used them as extra topping to this very earthy broth.
1/4 lb dried porcini mushrooms
half a bundle of somen noodles
3 small potatoes, cubed
1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
a small knob of Piave cheese
1. Soak dried porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of lukewarm water for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain and save the water. Roughly chop soaked mushrooms and set aside.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat some oil. Sauté garlic until brown and onions until soft. Add potatoes, rosemary and thyme and cook until potatoes are browning.
3. Add the mushrooms and the mushroom-flavored water and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 2 to 3 more cups of water, depending on how much broth you want. Season liberally with salt because the broth will be bland, but the salt will bring out the mushroom’s earthy flavor. Keep in low simmer until potatoes are cooked and all the flavors are incorporated.
4. Throw in somen and stir for 3 minutes; this will quickly cook the noodles. Turn off heat and let remaining warmth finish cooking the noodles. Ladle in bowls and shave cheese on top before serving.
Here’s another soup recipe using somen noodles