Zuppa Al Funghi

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Most pizza-philes go to POMO for the Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas, and well they should. But what they might not know is Puglia-born chef Matteo Schiavone makes a delicious bowl of Zuppa al Funghi – i.e. mushroom soup ($6.95). Don’t judge this simple slurper by its humble looks. Judge it by the taste, because this is what homemade mushroom soup is supposed to taste like.

Schiavone starts by slowly cooking onions and garlic in extra virgin Italian olive oil until the onions are almost golden. He adds sliced portobello mushrooms, and cooks them until they release all their liquid before giving the pot a healthy splash of Pinot Grigio. As the wine evaporates, it infuses the mushrooms with a soft, herbal flavor. The chef then adds homemade vegetable stock and throws in a fistful of Italian parsley. The flavors mingle as the soup gently bubbles for 20 or so minutes.

Next, Schiavone cools the soup, and working in batches, purees it smooth before returning it to the pot to simmer and reduce some more. Finally, he stirs in panna (Italian heavy cream) and cooks it down a bit more. He tastes for seasoning, and adds more salt or freshly ground black pepper. The hot soup is ladled into a square bowl, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and served with toasted house-made bread. The process is simple but time-consuming – slow food always is – and you can taste the difference.

POMO’s original location at the Borgata closed in May, just as owner Stefano Fabbri opened a Downtown Phoenix location. The new Scottsdale location at The Shops at Gainey Village was slated to open by mid-October.

8977 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
705 N. First St., Phoenix