You get lucky living in a rural environment. Not like "me and my crew was chillin' at the club...." lucky. Like this phone call I took a few days ago from my friend John. " Hey Nooney I was at my Mom's house and she has a five pound puffball bigger than your head. Want me drop it off on my way by?"
I don't know, a choice edible wild mushroom freshy fresh and dropped at my door? That's what I mean by getting lucky. Puffballs have a strong odor and a mushy texture. Not very desirable by that description. Often puffballs are sliced, breaded and fried. Do that and they will taste like fried stuff. I used the power of my Aga and dried them overnight in my Simmer Oven. The next day I made a classic Veggie stock using the dried mushroom. Very flavorful and worth the effort.
For the mushroom soup I used regular mushrooms, plenty of aromatic vegetables and some nice toothy barley to break up the textures. It's easy to run away from the vegan and add some cream, milk or other dairy. Do that with the leftovers. First time have it "au naturel" and work on your palate and seasoning technique. Try to taste all the flavors, the leeks, the wild mushroom, sweet carrot and celery. Avoid heavy herbs and alcohol. Remember season a small amount first and then move on to the bigger pot.
Soup season is upon us, fondue season must be around the corner.
Vegetable / Mushrooms Stock yield 4 qts
- 6 qts spring water
- 1 five lb puffball dried overnite in your Aga or a 1oz package of dried wild mushrooms. I found dried porcini at Ocean State Job Lot for next to nothing
- 2 whole onions unpeeled and washed
- 6 big fresh carrots chunked up
- 1 head of fennel chunked up
- 1 head celery, no leafs and outside peeled, both are a little bitter, chunked up
- 1 nice leek, washed and chunked up
- 2 bay leaf
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 6 whole coriander seeds
- 3 or 4 branches of parsley
Don't be locked in here, you can add a turnip if you have one, parsnips, celery root. Just be sure to use good quality vegetables and lots of them.
Bring it all to a simmer for 2 hours and drain. Notice I left the onion whole. Whole onions uncut are sweeter than a peeled and diced onion. Taste and season.
*Aga Owners bring it all to a simmer on your Boil PLate and into the Simmer Oven overnite
before and after
Mushroom Soupyield 4 qts
Why make soup for two? Do up a decent size pot and share. My recipe follows but as long as you have a good stock, cook your mushrooms and season properly your good
- 2 packages white button mushrooms sliced thin
- 1 onion small dice
- 1 leek small slices
- 3 celery stalks, peeled small dice
- 2 nice carrots medium dice
- 1 cup barley cooked
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 4 qts veg stock
In a small amount of oil sweat your onion until soft and translucent
Add mushrooms and cook over medium low heat stirring often for 15 or 20 minutes. Be patient here, as the mushrooms cook and stick to the pan use your wooden spatula and other mushrooms to "clean" the sticky spots. This is called the "fond". No coincidence that fond is the root of the word foundation. This is where the flavor is. Concentrated mushroom goodness. The longer you can cook the mushrooms and concentrate the flavor the happier you will be.
look at the fond stating to build up
Add your diced vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the sherry and let boil a minute
Add your stock and let simmer. Taste. Adjust.
To serve put a little barley in the bowl and ladle soup over the top. I swirl a little honey around the bowl as well. Sorry Mr. Vegan Man