Mushroom Soup or Zuppa di Funghi or Soupe aux Champignons
As Paola says in her accompanying article on the tenuous connections between Tuscany and the Loire Valley, the two regions are quite different. But one thing they do have in common is this classic mushroom soup, which can be found in either locale.
Remove the stalks from the mushrooms, place the caps in cold water and wash several times. Bring the mushrooms to the boil with 1 cup wine and the pepper, drain, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Pour the oil into a shallow pan, add the mushroom and braise slowly. Add the unfermented fruit juice or cider and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
Place the mushrooms in a soup bowl with about a 1/2 cup of the stock.
Place the toasted slices of bread in a pan with 1 cup of wine, the orange juice, cinnamon, cloves and the sugar, then bring to a boil. Carefully remove the soaked slices of bread and lay on top of the mushrooms. Serve hot.
Buon appetito, bon appétit!