Double Mushroom Soup
We are major mushroom fans. Sauteed mushrooms, stuffed mushrooms, sliced mushrooms all make frequent appearances in the kitchen. It’s been so cold lately that I’ve been looking for more soup recipes and when I saw Kalyn’s Double Mushroom Soup I knew it would only be a matter weeks before I was making it myself.
The trickiest part was locating the dried mushrooms. Not a single employee at our decent-sized grocery store could say whether they carried dried mushrooms and if they did where they would be located. Luckily, I have an extremely patient boyfriend who searched high and low until finding a box of dried porcini mushrooms. I had never worked with dried mushrooms before but was pleasantly surprised to find that the rehydration process was painless and they added a nice extra mushroom-y dimension to the soup.
Also, this isn’t a throw-together-in-twenty-minutes kind of soup. It takes time, energy and a decent amount of planning (I’m not a big enough foodie to keep dried mushrooms just hanging out in the pantry). But it has a very nice mushroom flavor and is a great side dish to a main entree. You could also add thinly sliced strips of beef to make it a full meal.
The recipe calls for using an immersion blender or a food processor to puree the soup. If you have an immersion blender use it! I only have a small food processor which required several small batches and the soup never really achieved the creamy consistency I image an immersion blender would create. In the end, my version came out a big chunkier than I had intended it. Next time I’ll be sure to invest in either an immersion blender or a full-sized food processor. Also, just as a heads up, be very careful not to overfill the food processor or you will be showered in hot soup (as I was).
Double Mushroom Soup
Yield: 4 servings
1 cup dried mushrooms*
2 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into thin half-slices
12 oz. fresh mushroom, thickly sliced (I used a combo of baby bella and white button mushrooms)
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. dried parsley (you can use 2 tsp. fresh parsley if you have it ... I didn't)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar, for drizzling over soup when you serve it
- Bring 2 cups water to a boil, then put dried mushrooms into a plastic bowl and pour boiling water over. Let mushrooms soak 30 minutes, while you prep other ingredients. (This is the rehydration process.)
- Peel onion and cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thin slices.
- Wash mushrooms with a damp towel and then cut into thick slices.
- Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a heavy soup pot big enough to hold all the soup.
- Saute the onions about about five minutes, until they're well softened but not browned.
- Add a little more olive oil if you think you need it.
- Add sliced fresh mushrooms and saute about 8 minutes, until mushrooms have released all their liquid and it has mostly been evaporated.
- Add the soaked dried mushrooms, mushrooms soaking water (strained through cheesecloth or a coffee filter if it needs it), chicken stock, and dried or fresh parsley.
- Bring soup to a very gentle simmer and cook uncovered for about one hour.
- After an hour (when soup should have reduced by at least 1/4) taste for flavor, and add salt and fresh ground black pepper as needed. If the soup doesn't seem flavorful enough, cook a bit longer to reduce a little more.
- When soup has a good mushroom flavor, puree either by using an immersion blender to puree soup in the pot, or by carefully removing hot soup to a food processor or or regular blender to puree. (Be very careful if using food processor or blender. Puree in batches, and don't overfill the container.)
- Drizzle a little good quality balsamic vinegar over each bowl of soup as you serve it hot.
* This measurement is by volume, not weight. I was horrified when I got home and realized I had only bought a 1 oz. package of dried mushrooms, but it ended up being plenty to fill a cup measurement and definitely added enough flavor to the final soup.