Friday, 30 January 2015

Beef with Porcini Broth

When ill, my Chinese mother would make me congee (rice porridge) and my father would make me plain pasta tossed with olive oil and parmesan.  Soup was never a sick food for me, but you know what, in my current cold-stricken state, a soup sounds delightful.  In fact, I would love to have some of this broth right now.  I consider myself quite independent, but there are times like now where I wish I just had someone to make me soup and deliver it to my bed.  I ought to just make a big batch of soup someday and keep it in the freezer for emergencies.
I had made steak the day before so I sliced that up and put it in the soup but use whatever leftover meat you have.  It's a nice dish for the winter.  It's so cold and miserable right now and I live in a house with single glazing and high ceilings.  I honestly thought December was the peak of winter but it's almost February now and it's just getting colder and colder and I take pride in my immune system but it can't take it anymore.   I'm almost considering going out to the supermarket to buy tinned soup...

This is a nice soup though.  Really flavorsome because of the porcini mushrooms -- it's a staple in my cupboard but I don't use it enough.  Come autumn time in Rome, simple sauteed porcini mushrooms is my favorite thing to order in restaurants.  And come other times of the year in the rest of the world I just have a pack of the dried product in my kitchen.  It's good for flavoring but it's not the same, I love that meaty texture of the fresh stuff.  Autumn in Rome is wonderful, it's still so warm.  In fact it's still warm over there now...

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 2
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 carrot, thinly sliced at an angle
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vegetable stock
leftover beef or any other meat you have, thinly sliced
1 sprig spring onion

Put the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour over 1 cup of boiling water.  Leave to rehydrate for 20 minutes.

Sweat the onions in a bit of olive oil in a pan until softened.  Add the carrots. 

Thinly slice the porcini mushrooms and add to the pan.  Strain the porcini water to rid the sediments and add that to the pan along with the vegetable stock.  Bring it to a simmer and cook until the carrots have softened.  Add the meat to warm through. 

Serve with chopped spring onion on top. 

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