Although Latvians are passionate mushroom foragers, mushroom soup is not often found in cafés, bistros and restaurants. I have only eaten this soup in my mum’s kitchen and when visiting a Latvian school in Adelaide, but I recently came across a very similar recipe in an American cookbook, where it was presented as a Latvian mushroom soup. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on wild wild mushrooms, use them instead of dried porcini mushrooms. If you can’t find dried porcini mushrooms, just use a raw mushroom mixture – the soup will still taste divine.
- 25 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 cup warm water
- 250 g fresh mushroom mixture
- 1 small onion
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 slices of streaky bacon
- 4 cups water
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1 cup heavy (double) cream
Place the dried mushrooms in a medium-sized bowl and add the warm water. Let the mushrooms stand for 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid and finely chop. Leave the soaking liquid.
Cut the fresh mushrooms into equal pieces. Finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onions. Cook the onions until soft. Add the fresh mushrooms and the soaked mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Chop the bacon. Heat a separate pan and add the bacon pieces. Fry for 4-5 minutes or until the bacon is browned and crispy.
Peel and dice the potatoes. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Bring the pot to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onion and mushroom mixture. Cook for 5 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add the cream and bring the soup to the boil. Add the cooked bacon. Remove from the heat and serve.