ZUPPA DI POMODORI E PORCINI CON ZENZERO or TOMATO AND MUSHROOM SOUP WITH FRESH GINGER

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It’s 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning and when I look out through the window I can hardly see the olive trees that stand on the field closest to our house, the fog is dense today. Soon I’ll take the dog and we will walk into the cloud. What I like about fog is that it is a great silencer, it absorbs sounds like snow and I like silence. I never used to, when I was younger I always kept a radio on or listened to music, even when I studied but nowadays I prefer to listen to the silence. I think my need for silence has something to do with becoming a parent, at least in my case, you need to listen and respond to the needs to your children all the time so those moments when you can listen to nothingness, a space of no demands or needs, become a sort of luxury and a little nook of your existence where you find a moment of repose. Nature is not silent at all but the sounds are not there for me, they have their own life and meaning and I can listen to the silence between them.

This weather has brought on a severe longing for soups in me, I could eat soup every day right now! I really like tomato soups and I like mushroom soups and I like ginger in soups so I made one with all of them. If you don’t want to include the ginger you can substitute it with chopped parsley and some black pepper.

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ZUPPA DI POMODORI E PORCINI CON ZENZERO or TOMATO AND MUSHROOM SOUP WITH FRESH GINGER
4 servings

800 ml / 3.4 cup tomato sauce
400 ml / 1.7 cup water
20 g / 0.8 oz dried mushrooms, I used porcini
5 tbsp rice
1 small onion
1-2 tsp finely chopped ginger and I mean finely
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

– Let the dried mushrooms soak in the water that you need to keep afterwards because it’s going to be used in the soup so don’t throw it away!
– Chop the onion very finely (I’m beginning to wonder if I really can write that, is it right or not?), squeeze the water out of the mushrooms and chop these as well.
– Put onion, mushrooms and rice in a pan with a some oil and braise for 2-3 minutes before adding the tomato sauce and the mushroom water. Check if you need to add salt.
– Let it simmer for 20 minutes, half covered by a lid.
– While the soup simmers, you chop, chop and chop the fresh ginger so that it is really cut into small pieces.
– When the soup is ready, add the ginger a little at a time so that you get the right amount for your taste. It has to be a background flavour because if you use too much you won’t feel the taste of the mushroom.
– Serve and eat.

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L