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Mushroom Soup or Can I Train Obie to Hunt for Mushrooms that won’t Kill Us?

Mushroom Soup!  I love mushrooms and I adore mushroom soup, but I have never had homemade mushroom soup. I have memories of my mom making my favorite meal of chicken thighs cooked with a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup mixed with a little mayo, herbs, maybe some Worcestershire Sauce and Parmesan Cheese.   Add some green beans and white rice and I was in heaven. My mom would let me and my brother pick what we wanted for our Special Birthday Meal and I always chose this chicken.  When my kids were small they didn’t like mushrooms so that whole meal was a non-starter.  Even now, the male children still do not like mushrooms.

Mushroom Haters

When I was at the store the other day, I decided that mushroom soup would be just the thing for the weather…snow then rain then warm days then snow again. Mushroom soup goes great with changeable weather.  I discovered a great recipe by Chef Bobby Flay.   Bobby Flay would be just the chef to entice Yes! Chef! into making pretty much anything.  I knew I had a winner.

When I got home with a bunch of  mushrooms and Yes! Chef! looked at me with a wondering eye, I told him I found a great recipe by Bobby Flay.  I really didn’t have to say anymore.  He was on board.

The recipe called for porcini mushroom powder and I couldn’t find any in the stores.  So we got some dried porcini mushrooms and made our own. (I use the term “we” a little loosely here.)  Yes! Chef! has an old coffee bean grinder that he has dedicated to grinding spices.  It was just the thing to make the powder.

While he was busy chopping mushrooms and getting them ready for the soup, Obie T. Dogg and I headed outside to see if their were any wild mushrooms in the yard.  Now, I wouldn’t know a non-poisonous mushroom from a poisonous one, and Obie is probably on the “Mushroom Hater list”, but I had high hopes that he would use his “Dog Sense” to find good mushrooms.

We were able to find a few signs of spring. My Wallflowers are starting to bloom and a few other plants had begun to send new shoots and leaves up into the sun.

Obie T. Dogg, for his part, was mostly on alert for any signs of mushrooms.  He’s a great dog and pays total attention to my every word and deed.

Although we did locate some tattered looking mushrooms, I was not willing to chance it and so I let them alone.  (I wasn’t really looking for mushrooms to eat.  I was mostly on a photo op hunt.)

When Obie and I got back in the house it smelled like mushroom heaven. Yes! Chef! had mushrooms sweating in one pot and onions cooking in another. When the mushrooms had sweated down, he removed them and he was left with a beautiful mushroom broth.

Then he did a whole bunch of magic things like stirring and cooking pancetta and digging out the Truffle Oil and chopping the Arugula.  I prepared a place to photograph the soup and when I turned around…Voila!  Mushroom Soup.

It was a beautiful thing.  The mushroom aroma takes me back to my childhood when my favorite soup was Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup.  However, this soup was not even in the same category.  First of all, it was not a cream soup.  Second, it was chock full of mushrooms.  Third…well, it was waaaay better.  (My apologies to Campbell’s Soup.)  The first bite of the broth  was pure mushroom…earthy and rich.  Every bite had a mouthful of chopped mushrooms which were wonderfully chewy and flavorful.  The prosciutto added a meatiness and saltiness that enhanced the mushroom flavor.  The arugula tasted like spring grass with a touch of bitterness.  At the end of the bite came the pepper and the necessary kick. I couldn’t stop eating it and Yes! Chef! had seconds.

Going, Going, Gone

Good to the last bite.  Here’s the recipe from Food Network:

I could not find any Serrano Ham, so I substituted Pancetta. Also, I did not try the Truffle Oil on my soup, so I can’t tell you how that tasted.

Enjoy!

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16 Comments Post a comment
  1. The mushroom soup looks deliciousssssssssss, can’t wait to try it!

    March 27, 2012
  2. Diana Randazzo #

    Found your blog, love it. You are such an inspiration and gifted photog. Thank you for sharing your passion.
    Diana Randazzo

    March 27, 2012
  3. This homemade mushroom soup looks incredible! Your photos make everything look delicious. It is a far cry from when I mix Campbell’s cream of mushroom, a packet of good seasons dressing and a bit of milk to pour over my chicken! LOL

    March 27, 2012
  4. This is the pretties blog I have read all week. Love the mushrooms.

    March 27, 2012
  5. I finally get to making that delicious tomato soup and now you do this to me? It’s hard to know whether to thank you profusely or curse you.

    March 28, 2012
    • You made me laugh. Honestly, if you like mushroom soup this is the mushroomiest! It is so chock full of mushrooms that you will not be able to stop eating it. Let me know how you like it!

      March 28, 2012
  6. Kanerva #

    Invest in a mushroom guide book! There is nothing finer than using fresh mushrooms. I have two, one with nice pictures of mushrooms in their habitat, rated with ticks, crosses and coffin marks depending on their edibility (is that a real word) and another that highlights the best ways to prepare them. This coming autumn I hope to organise a mushroom course where we go on a field trip to collect mushrooms and then bring them home and learn so new tricks.

    Your pictures and text are great, I eagerly look forward to reading about your latest culinary & photographic adventure.

    April 19, 2012
    • Thank you so much, Kanerva. I have a friend who has offered to take me mushroom hunting sometime. I probably should take him up on it.

      April 19, 2012
      • Kanerva #

        Definitely, and if I wasn’t living in another timezone I’d like to invite myself along 🙂

        April 19, 2012
      • I’d like that too.

        April 19, 2012

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