Hungarian Mushroom and Potato Soup with Smoked Paprika

If you’ve ever tried making a clear soup out of just mushrooms (and who hasn’t?), you know that the results can be a little anemic. Combine chicken stock and a few sliced button mushrooms, and you’ll have cooked up a nice little hot mushroom bath that doesn’t taste like much of anything and feels suitable only for serving to prisoners.

The secret to amping up the flavor of mushroom soups and stocks to previously unheard of levels of deliciousness? It all comes down to the dried porcini mushroom, my friends.

Dried porcinis are the secret weapon of cooks looking to not just add mushroom flavor to their soups and stocks, but to add a heavy hit of mysterious, addictive umami funk to everything from eggplant to steaks. Working with dried porcinis is simple: they just need to be rehydrated with a little boiling water. After steeping in the water for about 20 minutes, you’ll have potent, flavorful mushrooms, as well as an intense mushroom stock that would make any adolescent brave enough to chug it, instantly and immediately go through puberty. It’s that intense.

Here, we pair the intensity of two ounces of porcinis with some standard-issue button mushrooms, and a few baby portobellos, to create some additional textual interest. Smoked Hungarian paprika and pancetta round out the flavors, and the whole shebiggle is finished with a big dollop of sour cream, to add richness. It’s a hearty soup, satisfying enough for a meal, and if you love mushrooms, I think you’re going to be a big fan.

Hungarian Mushroom and Potato Soup with Smoked Paprika
Serves 8
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
276 calories
27 g
19 g
13 g
10 g
4 g
304 g
748 g
4 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 276
Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 4g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 19mg
Sodium 748mg
Total Carbohydrates 27g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 4g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
  2. 1 pound button mushrooms
  3. 1/2 pound baby portobello mushrooms
  4. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 1 onion, thinly sliced
  6. 1.5 teaspoons salt
  7. 3 ounces pancetta, chopped
  8. 1 tablespoon Hungarian smoked paprika
  9. 1 cup dry white wine
  10. 1 14.5 ounce can low sodium chicken broth
  11. 1.5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  12. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  13. 8 tablespoons sour cream
  1. In a measuring cup or bowl, cover porcini mushrooms with 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside until mushrooms rehydrate and soften, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Remove stems from button mushrooms, and finely chop. Slice caps. Remove porcinis from soaking liquid with a slotted spoon, pressing out excess liquid, and finely chop. Set aside the soaking liquid.
  3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and onions. Cook until onions soften, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and cook, about 3 minutes more. Add paprika and cook until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to high, and add all the mushrooms. Cook, stirring constantly, until mushrooms begin to release liquid, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add wine, reserved porcini soaking liquid (pouring slowly to avoid adding all the dirt and chach in the bottom of the bowl), chicken broth, 2 cups of water, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream in each bowl.
Adapted from The Sunset Cookbook
Adapted from The Sunset Cookbook

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the junk food blog "Spork & Barrel," and "Brocavore," a blog about food trucks and street food culture. His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, Eat Rockland, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.

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