Porcini Vellutata

Photo by Judy Doherty

 

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Porcini Vellutata


  • Author: From Belotti Ristorante e Bottega, Oakland | Photo by Judy Doherty
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Speaking from his ristorante on College Avenue in Oakland, Chef Michele Belotti suddenly pointed to his arm and said, “You see, I got goosebumps,” when someone mentioned a special olive oil they had both tasted last year. That kind of acute palate memory can be learned, but in Belotti’s case, it was bred from childhood as he came to know the flavors of foods coming from around his Northern Italian town. As Belotti notes, distinct flavors in each olive oil are a result of the olive cultivar, where the tree is grown, and how the oil is milled and handled. It’s this refinement that we find in the dishes we enjoy at his restaurant and takeout pasta bottega on Piedmont Avenue.

Belotti first created this soup for a Séka Hills 2016 Harvest Olive Oil Tasting Lunch, which showcased various oils he had tasted on a visit to the Séka Hills orchards and mill in California’s Capay Valley.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 golden onion, cut julienne
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and thinly sliced (optional for texture/smoothness)
  • 1 pound fresh porcini, thinly sliced (Leave one very firm mushroom head whole for garnish.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian (flat) parsley
  • 12 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Croutons (optional)
  • Olio nuovo or other fresh, flavorful extra virgin olive oil for finishing

Instructions

Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the julienned onion. Cook slowly, taking care not to burn the onion as that will change the result drastically.

When the onion is half cooked, add the sliced potato and porcini. Add the peeled garlic cloves and keep cooking over medium heat. Add salt and black pepper to taste as you go.

Add the chopped parsley and enough vegetable stock to cover the mushrooms. Cook for 20–25 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot or burns. As the liquid cooks down, add more vegetable stock or water to keep the vegetables and porcini covered. Add the heavy cream in the last few minutes of cooking. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool down for few minutes. Remove the garlic cloves.

Place a strainer over a second pot and drain the mixture, placing the solids in a blender along with a small amount of the hot liquid. Purée the solids, starting on a low speed and slowly adding more liquid until it’s the consistency you like. (I like a very smooth and silky texture, not too runny, but at the same time not too thick.) Taste and adjust the salt to your preference.

Ladle the vellutata into bowls. Shave thin slices of the reserved porcini on top using a mandoline or truffle shaver. Add the optional croutons and some light salt on top of the raw porcini. Finish the whole dish with a swirl of olio nuovo or new-harvest extra virgin olive oil.

Notes

Makes approximately 4 portions

  • Category: Soup

Keywords: Porcini, potato, soup