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Dried forest-mushroom soup (zupa grzybowa)

(Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
December 9, 2009

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Serves 6

You can buy borowiki mushrooms at specialty stores such as Euromart, 808 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester (617-825-1969) and Baltic Deli, 632 Dorchester Ave., South Boston (617-268-2435). If necessary, substitute other dried mushrooms such as porcini, but the flavor will not be quite the same. Start this a day in advance.

SOUP

4 or 5 large dried mushroom caps (about 1 cup)
10 cups water
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 parsnip, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 leek, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 celery root, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup light cream
1. In a soup pot, combine the mushrooms and 6 cups of the water. Let stand overnight.

2. The following day, bring the mushrooms and water to a boil, lower the heat, and let the mixture simmer for 1 hour or until the mushrooms are tender when pierced with a fork. With a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms from the water; set aside. Strain the cooking liquid. Rinse the soup pot and return the liquid to it.

3. In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 4 cups water to a boil. Add the carrots, onion, parsnip, leek, celery root, peppercorns, salt, and garlic. Let the vegetables simmer 25 minutes or until they are tender. Strain the broth and discard the solids (or use for another dish). Add the broth to the mushroom cooking liquid.

4. Bring the liquids to a bare simmer. In a bowl, stir together the flour and cream. When the broth is hot (but not boiling), add 4 tablespoons of the broth gradually to the flour-cream mixture.

5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pot of hot broth. Simmer on the lowest heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly.

6. Meanwhile, cut the mushroom caps into thin strips, and cut across the strips to make smaller pieces. Add them to the soup. Keep the soup hot (but not boiling) while you make noodles.

NOODLES

1 egg
1 cup flour
4 tablespoons water
Extra flour (for sprinkling)
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. In a bowl, combine the egg, flour, and water. Knead well to make a smooth, elastic dough.

2. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/16th-inch, as if for pasta. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle the dough generously with flour. With a large knife, cut the dough into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Stack the cut strips on top of each other and cut the dough on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-long pieces, making small diamonds. Toss again with flour to prevent sticking.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Simmer the noodles for 3 to 4 minutes or they are until tender. Drain the noodles in a colander and pour cold water over them; let them stand in the colander to drain for a few minutes. Add the noodles to the soup or serve them separately. Sprinkle the soup with parsley.

Adapted from Lila Pronczuk