Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wild Mushroom Soup with Thyme and Parsley

Growing up my father and brother used to eat a lot of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup.  Somehow I never got into it - probably because the only cream-based soup I liked was New England clam chowder.  I'm not really sure why that is, but so be it.  I've tried several mushroom soup recipes, both cream-based and otherwise.  My mother gave me a fantastic recipe using fried wild mushrooms, sherry and cream that I will make at some point for the blog, but right now I am out of dried mushrooms.  Since I saw a bunch of fresh wild mushrooms at the grocery store the other night I decided to make myself some mushroom soup using a mix of fresh wild mushrooms - creminis, oyster mushrooms, and shiitakes.  I thought I had some dried porcinis at home as well, but I was wrong so I had to do without.  Oh well.  It was still delicious without the porcinis, although the dried porcinis would have made the soup darker, richer and more earthy.

I have always thought that fresh thyme and mushrooms are brilliant together.  In some recipes and/or dishes I will use rosemary with mushrooms - particularly with creminis or portobellos which are meaty and can stand up to the pungent flavors of the rosemary.  But since the soup used oyster mushrooms, which are fairly delicate in terms of flavor, I stuck with fresh thyme and flat-leaf parsley.  Personally I think that the fresh thyme really makes the soup.  If you wanted to make this recipe vegetarian, all you have to do is use vegetable or mushroom broth instead of chicken stock.  We served the soup with some toasted baguette and a spinach salad, for a nice light weeknight meal.

Recipe after the jump!

Wild Mushroom Soup with Thyme and Parsley

1 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, optional (I omitted them this time)
18 oz. mixed mushrooms (I used a mixture cremini, shiitake, oyster)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus 2 tbsp additional parsley, reserved
1 tbsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet, or other heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.  Add evoo.  Once the foam from the melted butter subsides, add onion and dried porcini mushrooms (if using).  Sautee together, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add fresh mushrooms.  Stir until coated in oil and butter.  Add fresh parsley and thyme.  Stir to combine.  Add chicken stock.  Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer, and simmer, covered about 30 minutes.  Add salt and black pepper.  Stir and allow to simmer, uncovered, another 5 minutes.  Taste and season with additional s&p, if necessary.

Ladle soup into four bowls, sprinkle with reserved parsley.

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