Mushroom Soup with Marsala

Cheese toast on top adds crunch to this quick-to-prepare warming soup.


  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for frying bread
  • 1 pound crimini (baby portobello) mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • Good-quality white, peasant or Italian bread, sliced
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


In a medium size pot, simmer the porcini mushrooms in the stock to soften, about 10 minutes.

In a soup pot, heat 1/4 cup EVOO over medium-high heat. When the EVOO begins to ripple, add the crimini mushrooms and cook until lightly browned and tender, 12-15 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, bay leaf and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Stir until the shallots soften, 2-3 minutes. Add the marsala, scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook until reduced by half.

Remove the porcini mushrooms from the stock; chop, then add to the pot. Pour the porcini stock into the soup pot, being careful not to add the last few spoonfuls where grit may have settled. Add 2 cups water to the pot, then let simmer until flavors combine, about 10 minutes, and season.

In a skillet, heat a thin layer of EVOO over medium. Add the bread and cook until light golden and crisp.

Before serving, stir the parsley and lemon juice into the soup. Place a piece of fried bread in each soup bowl, sprinkle with a little cheese and top with soup.

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