In our house, holiday recipes are set in stone. There is always a soup and it is usually of the mushroom variety as a perfect nod to fall. WILD MUSHROOM SOUP is a beautiful addition to any fall meal – especially a holiday one. I love wild mushrooms – any type. This soup combines an earthy blend of the wild ones with leeks to make a simple beautiful soup – appropriate to begin a meal – or as a meal in itself. As an added incentive – you can make it ahead and freeze it.
I grew up in a household that actually revered these little funghi. My father, Attilio, made it his personal mission to hunt for as many of the wild mushrooms in the varieties he knew that he could, so that my mother, Loretta, could freeze them for use during the months ahead. He only gathered the ones he was sure of and often went with his friend , Coco, from the First Ward area of Binghamton, who was considered an expert. We loved the wild ones. Read more about Attilio’s wild mushroom hunting in my Wild Mushroom Pizza post.
Why wild? There is a difference in flavor – they are a little stronger – and better. There is also a difference in texture. Just bite into one and you’ll see. Fortunately, for all of us today, it is easy to go to most markets where we find so many different varieties available – even the dried kind which are very good when reconstituted. I like a nice variety of the wild mushrooms for this soup. They give the soup such a beautiful flavor and because they are pureed at the end, they create a creamy soup even though there is NO cream in the soup at all!
Don’t save this one for a holiday – enjoy it all winter long. You’ll love it!
WILD MUSHROOM SOUP
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 30-35 minutes
3 Leeks – cleaned and sliced thinly using the light green and white parts only
4 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Oil
3 Whole Shallots – chopped
1 Clove Fresh Garlic – chopped
1/4 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 lb. Assorted Sliced Wild Mushrooms ( Shiitake, Porcini, Crimini etc – whatever you like)
2 Tbsp. Fresh Sage – chopped
Pinch Fresh Ground Nutmeg
1/2 C. Dry White Wine
7 C. Chicken or Vegetable Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Sage for garnish
Optional: Balsamic Glaze – drizzle for garnish if desired. This can be strong – use just a tiny bit.
Clean leeks as directed HERE & slice thinly.
Chop shallots and garlic and saute with the leeks and red pepper flakes in butter and oil – covered – until tender for about 10 minutes at medium high heat.
Add the flour and cook a couple of minutes more, stirring.
Add sliced wild mushrooms, sage, nutmeg and wine – stir.
Add the broth and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes at a strong simmer.
Next – puree the mushroom mixture. I like to use an immersion blender for this. It is easy and can be done right in your pan. You can also use a food processor, processing the mixture in batches . Either way – puree the mixture until it is smooth. If there are a few mushrooms left floating, that’s ok.
Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
Garnish with fresh sage and a little drizzle of Balsamic Glaze, if you like ,for a little brightness. If you do use the glaze – be VERY sparing, as this has a lot of flavor, and you don’t want to overwhelm the delicate soup.
WILD MUSHROOM SOUP is a beautiful velvety soup that can be served as a first course or as a meal along with some crusty bread and salad.
PARLA COME MANGI!
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