Even though it is November 24th (not really “mid”, but it went better with the word “mushroom”, clearly), our winter has not yet really appeared. And by that, I mean the frigid windiness that sways my tyke of a car back and forth while careening down the highway in fear. Instead, we have had a chilly day or two, where mitts took precedence to flip flops.
Regardless, this is a beautiful time of year, where Christmas lights start twinkling, holiday parties and baking begin, and the hustle and bustle of gift-shopping/creating is underway.
I always know it’s Christmas on December first, when local radio stations play Christmas twenty-four hours a day. Pleasantly surprised, yesterday I briefly diverted from my beloved CBC Radio One and tuned into 96.1FM, where Christmas music flowed through the airwaves.
With these cooler months, my infatuation with soup readily increases. Although in the summer I live about 90% raw, I can’t help but go back to casseroles and soups and stews. This afternoon I made a lovely mushroom soup, simple and flavourful, with few ingredients. I’m sure it’ll even be better tomorrow.
Simple Mushroom Soup
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
6 cups boiling water
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
5-6 cups sliced flavourful mushrooms, like cremini, portabello, shittake
2 tablespoon sorghum flour
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, rubbed
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 cups water (in addition to before)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I use Unsweeted Almond Breeze Original)
1 heaping tablespoon arrowroot flour
In a large bowl, cover the dried porcini mushrooms with 6 cups of boiling water. Set aside, and get down to business with the garlic and onion.
Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven or similar, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until soft and translucent, aromatic, and mouth-watering. Give it a splash of water (or red wine), to deglaze the pan.
Add raw mushrooms into the pot, and continue to saute and stir, about 3-5 minutes, until all mushrooms are soft. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove porcini mushrooms from their liquid (which you will reserve), and add to pot. If they are really large, you might want to chop them (or use your trusty kitchen scissors).
Add rosemary, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir together, then add in your sorghum flour, stirring well to coat.
Pour in porcini liquid, whisking as to not create unsightly clumps. Pour in the three cups of water, and bring to a medium-low, so it stays slightly bubbling, about 30-40 minutes.
If you like mushroom bits in your soup, use a slotted spoon and reserve about a cup of them. If not, then keep ‘em all in the pot. Using your immersion blender, puree the soup until desired silkiness. If you don’t have one (of these #1 kitchen tools – I kid you not), then invest in one. If you don’t really like that option, you can puree this in batches in your blender or food processor. How time consuming!
If you reserved the mushrooms, stir them back in.
In a small bowl, stir together arrowroot and non-dairy milk, until smooth. Bring to a slow boil, then reduce again to a simmer, just to thicken it up a little more.
Dip in a spoon, give her a blow, and taste. Salt and pepper if needed.
Pour into bowls and serve.