We often come back with a basket full of mushrooms and have to decide what to do with what. Some of them dry really well, which is nice, so we can use them all year long. Some of them can be sauteed in oil or butter and then frozen, but our freezers are often so full that I decide to make a simple soup.
Oyster mushrooms aren’t just wild anymore, and you can often find them in grocery stores these days because some farmers cultivate them. But I like the ones we find on our own land. Sometimes we find a wonderful flush, a tree just covered with them, and I’ll make one of my favorite dishes, combining them with scallops. Other times we’ll find onsie twosies, and that’s when I prefer to use them in this soup, in combination with other white wild mushrooms. Their flavor is very delicate and sweet, subtle, so it wouldn’t go well in a risotto, for example, or with meat. I also don’t use strong flavors like garlic or strong spices. Their flavor would just be lost, and that would be a shame.
One of my favorites recipes is one I call cream of wild white mushroom soup, because I only use the mushrooms that have the most delicate and subtle flavor, the ones that would get lost in a dish with strong spices. So oyster mushrooms, puffballs, sweet teeth and coral fungus are my choices. Sometimes I’ll add a few chanterelles as well, even though they aren’t white, their flavor is quite delicate and compliments the others nicely.
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion
2 cups of wild white mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced celery
2 cups half and half
salt and pepper to taste
chives to garnish
Cook the vegetables and the mushrooms on very low heat until soft, approximately 15 minutes, covered. Add half and half. Whir in the blender or with a stick blender, until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you would like it less rich, you can substitute a light stock in place of half of the cream. I sometimes do that with my own mushroom stock, but only when I’m using stronger mushrooms in my soup, because my wild mushroom stock is rich and bold. I also like it with a light and sweet white wine.