Oaxaca exports many of its wild mushrooms to Japan, but Fernando López Velarde grabs as much as he can. He loves using them in this soup, which gets a smoky, savory edge from bacon and poblano chiles. A squeeze of fresh lime juice just before serving really perks up the flavor.
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2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 thick slices of bacon (4 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 poblano chiles, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 small Hass avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Lime wedges, for serving
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the saucepan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and when it's hot, add the onions, poblanos and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the shiitake, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the flour. Gradually add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring. Cook the soup over moderately high heat until thickened. Add the oregano and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper and stir in the bacon.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the tomato, avocado, red onion, cilantro and lime wedges.
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