Most of the regular readers of this blog know that over the past few years I’ve become a mushroom hunter. When mushrooms are fruiting well, I’ll often collect quite a number of them and then dry them in a dehydrator to eat later. From time to time I’m asked how I use these dried mushrooms. The other day I made a very tasty soup and here’s how I went about it.
I started by soaking about a cup of assorted dried mushrooms in water for half an hour to reconstitute them. My assortment consisted of lobster mushrooms, saffron milk caps, hedgehogs and two varieties of boletes.
Then I added some good olive oil to a heavy-bottom pan, heated it up and added a chopped up onion. I let the onion cook for about 10 minutes, adding some salt along the way. Five minutes in, I added a chopped up clove of garlic. Then I removed the mushrooms from the water, chopped them up and added them to the onions and garlic. I found a piece of kielbassa in the fridge so I diced it and tossed it in as well.
If you’ve cleaned your mushrooms well before drying them, carefully removing all dirt and grit, reserve the soaking water and add it to the soup later. I chopped up and added a zucchini, and since I had some swiss chard growing in the garden, I added some chard as well, and a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half. After a few minutes I added a litre of stock and then let the whole business simmer for another twenty minutes. When it was almost ready, I chopped up plenty of fresh oregano and parsley from the garden and tossed it in. Just before serving, I poured in a good splash of milk and stirred the whole business.
Serve it with toast or some home-made croutons and a cold ale.