Recipe: Wild Mushroom Soup with Herbs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • ¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, maitake, etc.)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • ½ yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only
  • ½ teaspoon fresh sage, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot or microwave safe glass bring the water to a boil.  Add the dried porcinis and let them sit for 20-30 minutes until they have softened.  Strain the mushrooms, reserving the broth.  Remove any woody stems and chop the hydrated mushrooms.
  2. Sort the fresh mushrooms, reserving any attractive small ones (small enough to make a comfortable bite).  Slice some of the larger mushrooms and add them to the whole small mushrooms so that a quarter of the fresh mushrooms are reserved.  Roughly chop the remaining mushrooms and then pulse in a food processor until they resemble coarse meal.
  3. Heat the butter over medium heat in a pot until it melts and the foaming subsides.  Add the celery and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the processed mushrooms, reduce the heat to low, stir and then cook covered until they release their juices, about 7 minutes.  Add the fresh herbs and cook another minute until they are fragrant.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and mushroom liquid and bring to a boil.  Change the heat so the soup is at a high simmer and cook, uncovered, until the soup reduces by about ¼, 15-20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk and the reserved mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve hot.