Cream of Mushroom Soup (Pacific Northwest Style)
1 lb chanterelles
2 c broth
1 c water
1/2 t salt
6 sage leaves
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 pinch red chili flake
3.5 oz onion (1/2 onion- diced)
1 large carrot (cut)
1 sprig of thyme (about 2t of leaves)
1/2 c cream (can be omitted to keep soup vegan)
Hearty bread (Here I have Big River's "Pain de Campagne" – Whole Wheat Sourdough)
yield: 2-3 servings
I normally wouldn't suggest using chanterelles for soup, because they're pretty expensive. I've been doing a lot of mushroom hunting this season though and I've been pretty lucky. Don't feel you have to use chanterelles, other mushrooms will do. Shiitakes are good substitution. You just want a mushroom that is a little meaty. I would advise against portobello, they would taste fine, but the gills will turn the soup an unappetizing grey color. Another thing to take into consideration is weight of the mushrooms. My recipe is using fresh mushrooms. Mushrooms that have been in the grocery store are going to weigh less because mushrooms lose a lot of liquid if they're just sitting out uncovered. This was about 4 cups of mushrooms.
Gather together your ingredients. If you notice in the picture to the right, there is Swiss cheese. I was originally going to put cheese in the soup to try and recreate a soup from Block 15. After adding the cream though I realized the soup didn't need the cheese. To be honest, it doesn't even need the cream! Cream just tastes so good though.
Prepare half of your mushrooms by putting them in a hot pan with 2 T of oil, these are going to be pureed, the other half will be left as chunks.
When the mushrooms begin to caramelize, add your onions and carrots.
Add 1 pinch of red chili flakes.
When your onions become translucent add your garlic. Leave on the heat for about 1 more minute, then remove and transfer into a sauce pot.
Make sure your pot is big enough to fit at least 2 qts of liquid.
Add your broth and water. I made this soup with chicken broth I made from my roasted chicken, but store bought broth is fine. I recommend chicken or mushroom. Sometimes "vegetable broth" is tomato based and you don't really want to add tomatoes to this soup. Water will also work if you don't have broth. Turn temperature on low.
While your soup is on low you can cook the remaining mushrooms. I like them into bite size pieces. You want them to be able to fit on a spoon nicely.
In 1 T of oil, and medium to high heat pan, cook your mushrooms until they begin to caramelize.
Cut up your sage and thyme.
Add your herbs and remove from heat.
With your hand blender puree the soup that you had in the sauce pot.
Add cream, mushrooms and herbs to the soup and stir. Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving, this will give it enough time to have the flavors blend together.
For the garnish I just fried up a couple of pieces of mushroom while the soup was resting and sprinkled some extra sage on top. I grilled the bread in the pan that had the mushrooms and herbs so it would pick up some extra flavor and a little extra crunch.