recipe, side dish, vegetable

5-mushroom soup

When I was little I did not like mushrooms. I especially didn’t like cooked mushrooms– their texture was chewy and slimy and all I could imagine was eating slugs. Not a particularly nice image when you’ve got a bowl of it in front of you.

When I was little, I did not appreciate the smoky and nutty flavour of mushrooms. I didn’t understand that each and every mushroom brings its own consistency and taste. I also didn’t understand how mushroom soup could be delicious (as far I was concerned at that age, the only mushroom soup was Campbell’s cream of mushroom).

That was until I had a bowl of homemade mushroom soup from a very small, very unknown café when I was at University. I remember that it actually wasn’t that creamy and it wasn’t puréed, which I initially found odd, but instead it had tons of interesting textures and flavours and its memory has carved itself a little niche in my mind.

I’ve decided to try and recreate that mushroom soup recipe that changed my perspective on mushrooms (and mushroom soup). And at first slurp, I was reminded again why that soup recipe made me love mushrooms!

Hilary’s 5-mushroom soup

Ingredients:

–  2 lbs of of chopped mushrooms, variety in sorts: I personally used crimini, oyster, porteenies (small portabello), shitake, and enoki mushrooms. (I know it seems like a lot of mushrooms, but they’ll shrink when cooked)
– 1 small yellow onion, diced
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
– 0.5 tsp dried thyme
– 2 cups vegetable stock (watch the sodium level. If it is unsalted, you will have to adjust with your seasonings)
– salt and pepper to taste, optional
– sour cream and fresh parley for garnish

Directions:

1.  Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pot. Add all your mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, over medium-high heat until the mushrooms reduce in size (about 10 minutes).
2. Add the onion and garlic, stirring frequently. Then add the thyme (crumble the spice between your fingers first to release the scent) and the parsley. Continue cooking over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Eventually the mushrooms will release more water and it will appear like a very thin brown liquid (this is good! We want all the water to evaporate from the mushrooms but still retain all the flavours).
Note: The amount of time you spend at this step depends entirely on the types of mushrooms you selected.
3. At this point, add your vegetable stock and cover. Bring up to a simmer, and then adjust your seasonings if necessary.
4.  Serve in wide bowls with a spoonful of sour cream and garnished with fresh parley.

Note: You are more than welcome to remove your soup from the heat source and purée either all of it or half of it… I puréed a small amount to add more variance to the texture, but it is entirely up to you. I found this step to be unnecessary in the end.