You’ve heard of 10 Bean Soup…here’s my version using mushrooms. How do I describe this soup; hearty, earthy, flavorful, complex, creamy, chewy, delicious, mushroomy, rich, divine. If you like mushrooms, you’re gonna love this soup. And if you don’t like mushrooms, this just might be the dish that begs you to reconsider.
A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to receive samples of gourmet dried mushrooms from Marx Foods. These mushrooms have been staring at me since then asking “what’cha gonna make”? Now that soup weather is upon us, I finally found some inspiration and decided to make an over the top cream of mushroom soup using any kind of mushroom I could get my hands on.
Augmenting my stash of dried mushrooms from Marx Foods, I made a trip to Whole Foods to grab a handful of several types of exotic wild varieties to join the party. Adding white wine to the broth, finishing with sherry and cream, I ended up with layers of compatible flavors and a wonderful soup. What started out as a vision of elegance, actually ended up to be a hearty bowl of comfort food that we couldn’t stop eating.
In the end, I had a small amount of about 10 different mushroom varieties in this soup and they all shared the spotlight quite nicely. Surprisingly, each mushroom retained its individual flavor and unique texture. The sweat cream was a wonderful compliment to woodsy flavors and the ever congenial chicken broth and white wine offered a fabulous beginning for these ingredients to come together into a tasty bowl of soup.
I just love the combination of a good flavored chicken stock and a dry white wine for chicken or vegetable based soups. For this soup I used a Pinot Grigio, but have also used a Chardonnay on the dry side. Whichever you choose, wine brings acidity which elevates the flavors. It’s much like lemon zest, but with a different flavor result. And, as we’ve been lectured by professionally trained chefs, never use a wine that you wouldn’t drink.
Let’s take a look.
- 4 cups chicken soup
- 1 oz each dried black trumpet, lobster and porcini mushrooms, soaked in water for two hours to reconstitute
- 1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
- 1/4 pound fresh button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1/4 pound exotic wild mushrooms such as morels, oysters or tree ears or any available varieties, washed and sliced
- 2 C. dry white wine
- 3/4 C. wild and brown rice mix (packaged mix from Costco)
- 2 T. butter
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/4 C. flour
- 1 C. heavy cream
- 1/2 t. dried thyme
- three grates of fresh nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 T. Sherry
In a Dutch oven, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Add the white wine and continue to simmer. Stir in the wild/brown rice mix and simmer according to package instructions, until the rice is tender.
In a skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about five minutes. Add all of the fresh sliced mushrooms and drain the soaking dried mushrooms, rinse to clean, pat dry and slice. Saute until mushrooms soften, are fragrant and on the edge of browning, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and gradually add the cream until smooth and starting to thicken. Season with thyme, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Add this mixture to the simmering pot of wild rice, chicken stock and wine as soon the rice is tender.
Stir in the sherry and let simmer on low for about twenty minutes. Do not boil. Stir often.
Note: I only use the tops of wild mushrooms. I remember reading somewhere to discard stems. Not sure if this is common practice.
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup…It’s What’s For Dinner.