October 22, 2013

Hen of the Woods Recipe #2

With the weather getting colder there's nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup. I'll be honest I'm not much of a soup person but I think I'm becoming one. Up until this Wild Mushroom Soup the best soup I ever had was the Lobster Stew in Maine, it was AMAZING. What's you're favorite kind of soup? 

We harvested a lot of giant Hen of the Woods mushrooms and I used them in many dishes. I racked my brain trying to think of creative ways to use them. I really wanted to make something that would have mushrooms as the main ingredient so that we could enjoy their flavor and of course use them up.
That's when I thought of mushroom soup. I actually had never had mushroom soup before except the canned kind used in casserole dishes. I didn't want my soup to resemble the canned version in any way and it definitely didn't. This soup was so creamy and satisfying. It's the kind of soup you can't help but eat real slow because your soaking in the depth of flavor. We ate this soup every night for a week and we were sad when it was gone. If you don't have access to Hen of the Woods try any kind other kind of mushroom. I see a variety of mushrooms at our local farmers market every Saturday. I wouldn't go with just the standard Button mushroom but I know they are cost effective so you could mix Button mushrooms and Portabello with some Shiitake. The key is to use fresh mushrooms not canned.

Another key to the depth of this soup is creating a good base of flavors with celery, onion, carrot and garlic. It's important to cook these veggies until caramelized and brown then deglaze the pan with a liquid to release all the bits of flavor. I used Sherry but you could also use chicken broth.

This recipe is not difficult and is so worth making. It would freeze well if you want to double up the ingredients.

If you've never tried fried sage leaves they really make the soup special. They cook up in just a few seconds and you will be so happy you tried it. Then you can think of all the other dishes you could fancy up with a with them.

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