It’s one of the most popular signature dishes that entice guests into Prego’s stylish dining room each evening, rich in flavor and savory herbs and served in a perfectly baked bread bowl. It’s the epitome of comfort food, and it’s ideal for crisp fall evenings. Our chefs are sharing their indulgent recipe for the Italian classic, which is certain to conjure memories of your favorite meals aboard Crystal ships.
Wine pairing: The nutty, earthy flavor of this soup calls for a wine that reflects its character. The Terruzzi e Puthod Vernaccia from San Gimignano in Tuscany offers elegant fruit and a hint of oak, while the Byron Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara brings a red-fruited earthiness of its own.
For the Soup:
1 ounce dried morels, or 2 ounces fresh morels
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup portobello mushroom, finely sliced
2 ounces white mushrooms
3 ounces fresh porcini mushrooms, finely sliced
3 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Leaves from one fresh thyme sprig, minced
Leaves from one fresh oregano sprig, minced
2 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 six-inch round bread loaves
At Crystal Cruises, we serve this soup in oregano bread cups. Any plain or flavored bread loaf may be substituted, but this soup is also delicious served in shallow soup bowls.
If using dried morels, wash the caps and soak them in warm water to cover for 10 minutes. Remove the stems and discard them. Cut small morels in half and large ones into 3 or 4 pieces.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute all the mushrooms for about 3 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the wine, and cook to reduce the liquid by half. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer the soup for about 25 minutes. In a blender or food processor, puree half the soup until very smooth. Return the puree to the pan. Stir in the parsley, thyme, oregano and basil and cook for about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off the top of each bread loaf. With a large spoon, remove the soft inner part of the bread. Place the loaves on a baking pan and warm in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove the warm bread loaves from the oven and pour hot soup into the bread cups. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.
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