Wild mushroom soup may be viewed by some as a waste of the wonderful aromas and textures of wild mushrooms. Yet in reality, soup is an ideal way of cooking wild mushrooms, because all the flavours are actually ‘locked into’ the soup, so you retain the intensity of flavour. This makes wild mushroom soup a much more intense and rich soup. You will, however, never want to go back to standard mushroom soups after you have tried this!
For wild mushroom soup (to serve 4) you will need the following:
2 lbs of chopped wild mushrooms. For best results try using a variety of mushrooms. Meadow or field mushrooms are fine, but if possible, try to introduce some chanterelles or even a bloody beefsteak. This will certainly enhance the flavours.
5 slices of stale wholemeal or brown bread, crusts removed.
2 tsps virgin olive oil
1 ½ pints of vegetable stock
1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 tsp of dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
¾ pint of single cream (double if you want to have real luxury)
¼ pint of double cream which has been whipped, so it is quite firm
2fl oz of sherry
Nutmeg, grated to add at the end
Fry the mushrooms lightly in the olive oil and just after they have entered the pan, break up the pieces of bread and place them in the pan, on top of the mushrooms. Stir lightly, but do not overstir, just enough to slightly cook the mushrooms. After a couple of minutes add in the stock, as well as the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and seasoning.
Bring to the boil slowly. After the soup has started to boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.
Take out the bay leaf and if using fresh thyme, remove the sprig.
Now you can either liquidise the whole of the soup in a blender, or you can liquidise half and half the other half ‘chunky’ in order to give it some texture, or you can leave the soup as it is and have it all chunky and full of texture, it is purely a matter of taste.
Whatever you decide, you should allow the soup to cool a little and then stir in the single (or double) cream as well as the sherry.
Return the pan to the heat and re-heat on a low heat, so that it is hot enough to serve, but do not allow it to boil, or you may curdle the soup.
Serve the soup in warmed dishes and then garnish with a generous helping of the whipped cream and grate nutmeg over the cream. A very crusty wholemeal or granary bread will make this dish into a hearty meal.
A robust red or white wine will also be perfect served with this soup, since the wild mushrooms are strong enough to provide an excellent flavour and thus are not overwhelmed by wine.
Here are two videos of other recipes for Wild Mushroom Soup:
Buy one of these books on Identifying and Cooking Wild Mushrooms
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Wild Mushroom Identification - Recommended Books for All Skill Levels: Every amateur mycologist should have a decent library of books, here are the top five books I highly recommend for wild mushroom identification:
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