``Every cook in our part of Istria had her own version of wild mushroom soup,'' writes Lidia Bastianich in ``La Cucina Di Lidia'' (with Jay Jacobs, Doubleday, $24.95). ``This one was devised by my Great Aunt Santola, a widow, who cooked the soup for the whole courtyard at Busoler.''

8 pieces (2/3 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 slices bacon, chopped fine

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded

2 medium carrots, shredded

1 large shallot, chopped

2 1/2 quarts chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

In 1 1/2 cups of warm water, soak the dried porcini about 20 minutes, until softened. Drain, reserving all but the last 2 teaspoons of the steeping liquid (to avoid unwanted sediments), remove and rinse the softened porcini.

In a five-quart pot, heat 5 tablespoons olive oil. Add the bacon and onion, and saut'e until translucent. Add the potatoes, carrots, and shallot, and cook 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the stock, drained porcini, reserved soaking liquid, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep on low boil about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

To prepare the fresh wild mushrooms, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saut'e them in batches, over medium-high heat, until all water has evaporated, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer the mushrooms to the soup pot and simmer 30 minutes, skimming occasionally. Add the pepper and parsley; serve hot. Serves 6.

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