1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 handful)
1/2 lb bacon ends and pieces, chopped
1 onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and diced (about 1.5 cups)
3 stalks celery, diced (about 1.5 cups, retain 1 tbsp chopped celery leaves)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp marjoram (oregano okay)
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
2.5 lbs white potatoes, peeled, diced, and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp sour cream (coconut milk okay)
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped (about 2 tbsp)
1. Place the mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with warm water; set aside to reconstitute, about 15 minutes. As the mushrooms soak, warm a stockpot over medium/low heat, then add the bacon and saute until crispy, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces and set aside.
2. Increase the stockpot heat to medium, then add the onion; saute until softened, about 5 minutes, then add the carrot and celery. Saute until bright in color, about 2 minutes, then add the chopped celery leaves, marjoram, caraway seeds, chicken broth, and beef broth. Remove the mushrooms from their liquid and coarsely chop, then add them to the soup – add the water you soaked the mushrooms in, too, minus any sediment that collected at the bottom of the bowl.
3. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the diced potatoes; if needed, add water to ensure they are covered by liquid. Return to a boil over med/high heat, then reduce heat and simmer on low until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes.
4. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, partially mash/blend the soup so that it is smooth, it should take just a few pulses. Add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat and stir in the sour cream (or coconut milk), reserved bacon, and parsley, then serve.