Very Special Mushroom Risotto


July is mushroom mania month so what better way to celebrate this auspicious occasion than with a very special mushroom risotto. Mushies are fairly easy to come by, but I can’t go past the mushies from the mushroom man at the central markets (nb. I receive nothing for saying that, I just really like their mushrooms!). On my last visit I picked up some yummy swiss browns and some very special french chanterelle mushrooms. Chanterelle’s are golden, funnel-shaped beauties that are packed full of vitamin C. They are also pretty darn expensive which is why I only bought a very small handful!

What makes this risotto special is not only the addition of the fancy mushies but also the broth. Instead of using a standard vegetable stock I decided to create something a little more flavoursome and it made the world of difference. I soaked some dried porcini mushrooms that I picked up at the supermarket and used the soaking water to impart flavour to the stock with a little soy sauce for a bit of extra oomph. Mushrooms and soy sauce are both good sources of the so-called ‘fifth flavour’, umami. Although it sounds complex, many people cook with umami anyway – it is described as a savoury flavour that can take a dish from OK to outstanding.

If you’d like to make this risotto for yourself at home there is really no need to go out and source fancy mushrooms (unless you really want them, of course!), the ordinary mushies you get at the market will do just fine. My only ask is that you go for the brown ones and leave the white button mushrooms for someone else. Button mushrooms are notoriously bland and in such a simple dish you want to try and pull out as much flavour as possible. You’ll need two large pots for this recipe, one for the stock which should be kept warm over a low heat and one to cook your risotto in.

Very Special Mushroom Risotto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A very special mushroom risotto featuring chanterelle and porcini mushrooms. Full of flavour and vitamin D. Vegetarian.
Recipe type: Dinner, Main, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
  • 10g dried porcini
  • 350g mushrooms - 320 g swiss brown + 20 g chanterelle mushrooms
  • ½ onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 tspn minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 5 cups veg broth
  • 1 tbspn soy sauce
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • ½ glass of white wine
  • 100g brie, rind removed
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • handful chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Soak porcini in 1+ ½ cups boiling water for at least 20 minutes
  2. Remove mushies from water, squeeze out excess liquid & coarsely chop -
  3. keep soaking liquid
  4. Pour soaking liquid through sieve into stock pan
  5. Add 5.5 cups vegetable broth + 1 tbspn soy sauce
  6. Heat to a simmer, keep warm but not boiling
  7. In a large heavy based pan add butter, oil, celery & onion
  8. Cook slowly for about 10 minutes on low-medium heat - until soft but not browned
  9. Add mushrooms (including the soaked porcini) and sauté, ensuring any liquid given off while cooking is evaporated - about 8 minutes
  10. Add the rice and fry lightly for about 2 minutes until translucent
  11. Add white wine and cook off for a couple of minutes
  12. Add a ladleful of stock every couple of minutes, stirring constantly and ensuring all the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next lot of stock.
  13. Once rice is cooked to al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed turn off the heat. This will probably take about 30-40 minutes.
  14. Stir through the brie (rinds removed) a couple of tablespoons of parmesan and let it sit for 3-4 minutes. Just before serving gently stir through the chopped parsley.
  15. You may have stock leftover, this is ok! Freeze for another use, use it to loosen up risotto left on the stove or discard (if you must!)
You'll need two large pots for this recipe, one for the stock which should be kept warm over a low heat and one to cook your risotto in.


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