It is official! Lady autumn is here.
Bursting with all varieties of gold, yellow and red. It seems that nature had been saving up all year for this grand finale.
I love autumn for the smell of fresh apples, for the joyful colors of squash, and most of all, for the treasures of the forest. Yes! Since I was a kid, my family went for mushroom picking and for me, it always was sort of a game, to spot as many caps as possible, to fill the basket first. But what to do with all the catch?
There is a great variety of recipes involving wild mushrooms, including this one. Coming from the old times and perfected by me for easy-to-follow recipe, this simple yet delicious fusion can be served as a aromatic appetizer or as a full-sophisticated dish. Rich and creamy wild mushroom soup has a great character and will definitely tickle your taste buds.
Before starting juggling the pots, a natural question arises – What’s the best way of handling the mushrooms?
Well, it seems that there is no best way. Some people believe that you should never wash mushrooms directly under the water as it will reduce the mushroom’s flavour. Instead try to clean them with a brush or damp cloth. Others believe that the bugs and the soil found on the mushrooms, can affect a person’s health as well as flavour, so to wash them carefully is essential. I say go ahead with the way in which you are most comfortable, just remember not to eat wild-mushrooms raw.
If you are using dried mushrooms, you would need to rehydrate them first. Hot water will rehydrate them quite fast (10-15 min), however, if you allow more time (30-35 min) and use room temperature water instead, it will be better flavoured. (Tip: always reserve the liquid for use in the stock.)
You also can use cultivated mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, button mushrooms), fresh or dried, and achieve beautiful and intense flavors. Spoons up!
Serves 4 / Cooking+preparation time: 35 min
For unlocking mushroom essence you will need:
- 25 g of butter
- Handful of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
- 60 g of dried mushrooms (porcini or girolle), rehydrated
- 1 cup of whipping cream
- some parsley for garnishing
- some salt & pepper
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms with a pinch of salt and cook until they start giving off their juices, then reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until juices evaporate and mushrooms are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Reserve some best looking mushroom slices for garnish later.
- Mix the shallots into mushrooms and cook until they are soft, about 5 more minutes.
- Increase the heat and add the stock along with rehydrated dried mushrooms. Bring it to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Transfer soup to a blender in small batches and puree on high speed until smooth and thick.
- Return soup to the saucepan and stir in cream and heat through without boiling. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Serve in warm bows, garnish with fried mushrooms slices and chopped parsley (thyme leaves also look great).