Hand picked wild porcini mushrooms from our backyard add a degree of luxury to this humble turnip soup. The texture is rich and creamy with a subtle sweetness and salty bits from the crunchy pancetta. At the countryside, we visited the morning market and couldn’t resist in buying these beautiful organic turnips that have been grown locally. Turnips are quite versatile; grated raw into a salad or cooked in rosemary and garlic, they add an interesting flavour to our dishes. This thick soup is comforting and fulfilling, where the salty porcini give an earthy flavour, that is purely superior. Porcini mushrooms are by far my favourite ones to pick, they are elegant and robust and true gems in our forests.
Porcini Mushroom fry
Begin by frying about 8 bacon slices or pancetta so they become crispy and crunchy. Leave to the side and place on kitchen paper to remove excess fat. Then chop all the vegetables (turnips, cauliflower, garlic, leek and onion) and place in a saucepan on medium heat with a dollop of butter. Cook for about 7 minutes until a lovely golden brown. Add in the chicken stock and cook gently with the lid on for about 10 minutes. Remove soup from heat and blend the soup into a smooth paste in a food processor. Place back onto the stove and add the cream. Add in the bacon, a bit of salt and ground white pepper. Let it simmer until it thickens in consistency for about 10 minutes. Check for flavour. Meanwhile chop the porcini mushrooms into smaller pieces and fry on a hot pan in some butter. Add a bit of salt, thyme and ground black pepper. Ready to serve: plate the soup and add some porcini mushrooms on top. Add more black pepper in the end. Serve with a glass of champagne.