A a really good Polish wild mushroom soup is very often made with foraged mushrooms, since mushroom hunting is a national pursuit in Poland. I used some beautiful winter chanterelles (kurki in Polish) but you could very easily use a mixture of dried forest mushrooms with a few fresh mushrooms thrown in. It's worth the extra step making the stock, but if you are short on time, you could use shop-bought stock, too.
To make the fresh stock:
1 kg pork ribs (omit for vegetarian version)
2 stick celery
10g fresh parsley
2 litres of water
1 bay leaf
2– 3 allspice berries
Or, use 1.5 litres of shop-bought or stock made with chicken or mushroom stock cubes
40g dried mixed forest mushrooms, soaked in 1 cupful hot water
A handful of fresh mushrooms, such as chanterelle, chopped
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, very finely chopped
150 ml double cream
100 g wide egg noodles or kasza (barley groats)
3 tsp cornflour (optional) mixed with a little cold water
Fresh parsley to garnish
To make the stock: Roughly cut up the carrots, celery and onion. Add them to a large pot with with the pork ribs (if using) and pour over 1.5 litres of cold water. Add the parsley, bay leaf and allspice berries. Simmer the stock on a very gentle heat (barely boiling) for an hour. Skim any foam that forms with a large spoon and discard. Strain the stock. You can use the pork ribs to make these roasted ribs.
For the mushroom soup: Strain the soaked mushrooms to remove grit. Chop the mushrooms finely. In a large pan, add the butter and olive oil. Cook the onions for 5-10 minutes until soft.
Add the mushrooms and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Pour in the strained rib stock that you made earlier (or 1.5 litres of bought stock) and bring to a boil. Add the liquid from the soaked mushrooms too, avoiding the grit. Simmer for 25 minutes.
To finish: Cook the pasta or kasza/grains according to instructions and drain.
Stir in the cream. If you would like a thicker texture to the soup add the cornflour and stir well. Simmer gently for a further 5 minutes.
Place the pasta or kasza in the serving bowls and ladle over the soup.
Garnish with parsley. Smacznego! (Bon appétit!)
Recipe by Ren Behan - Author Wild Honey and Rye at http://www.renbehan.com/2013/02/polish-wild-mushroom-soup.html