Photo by Barbara Ching
Provenance of Dish
I fell in love with the scent of Nebrodini mushrooms when they first appeared in the grocery store. I wanted to come up with a way to make a dish that was all about that lovely bittersweet scent, like black jellybeans, Belgian ale, bergamot oranges . . .
This recipe was originally published in The Mycophile, the bi-monthly newsletter of the North American Mycological Association.
1 lb Nebrodini mushrooms, caps separated from stems. Stems diced and caps sliced in 1/2 inch strips.
1 medium fennel head
1 large yellow onion, peeled.
1/2 cup peeled, diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
2 quarts water
salt to taste
Cut the fennel head into 3 segments: the fronds, the stalks, and the bulb. Reserve the fennel fronds and sliced mushroom caps.
Place the fennel bulb and stalks, the onion, the chopped mushroom stems, and water in a 4 quart or larger crockpot. Salt to taste and cook on high for 3hours or longer.
Allow the mixture to cool, then strain and reserve broth. Puree the vegetables.
Stir pureed vegetables back into the broth and reduce broth until the soup reaches the thickness you like.
When you are ready to serve the soup, stir in the sliced mushroom caps and diced tomatoes and heat through. The cap slices will float to the top like dumplings. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds if desired.