Reconstitute the dried porcini by putting in a small bowl with 1/2 cup hot water. Let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove mushrooms and strain liquid through a fine sieve. Return mushrooms and liquid to the bowl, but discard any sandy sediment.
Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven (6-quart capacity). Stir in the onion and shallot and saute over medium heat until just softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in pancetta and cook one more minute to marry the flavors. Do not overcook.
Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the boiling broth to the soup kettle along with the potatoes, carrots, dried porcini mushrooms, and reserved mushroom liquid. Return to a boil and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Heat remaining oil in a large skillet. Stir in the fresh mushrooms and salt and saute over medium heat until mushroom liquid has evaporated, about 15 - 20 minutes. Add to the soup kettle and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary.
Ladle soup into warm bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and give a few twists of the pepper mill over each bowl.
Serves: 8 to 10
Contributor: pat ciesla
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