Thursday, November 10, 2022

Mushrooms After the Rain

If you have ever been in the woods after the fall rains begin you may have been lucky enough to see mushrooms growing there. I'm not sure why there seems to be a co-relation, but the few times that I have seen mushrooms growing in the wild it was after rain.

We have been blessed with well over an inch of rain this past week. Considering our years of drought, that is a lot! I do hope that it's the beginning of a rainy winter and not just a tease.

The part that sucks about all that rain is that our older lab dog, Pi, came home just about when the rains were setting in. We still had to get him outside to do his business, so we set up an EZ-UP tent just past the end of the ramp that Sweetie built for the express purpose of getting him outside. The first day and a half we pretty much had to carry him, but then he started being able to walk with some weight on his legs and now can sometimes bear his full weight as he climbs up and down (although we still have to hold on to his harness for helping with balance). Once on solid ground he is able to walk on his own and today walked an area about 20 feet in diameter a couple of the times we took him out. Progress!

But back to mushrooms! For dinner I made a mushroom soup using a recipe I found in the paper. The recipe is by Ellie Krieger from the Washington Post.


The interesting things about this recipe are that the mushrooms and shallots are roasted first, and the soup is thickened with cannellini beans. Once the soup is cooked, you use an immersion blender or regular blender to liquify all the soup ingredients and it becomes fairly smooth and truly delicious. Ellie Krieger writes, "Along with all that flavor, this soup also has considerable nutritional bragging rights. Besides the wealth of B vitamins, potassium, and health-protective compounds in mushrooms, the soup gets it's creaminess not from cream, but from being pureed with a can of canellini beans, which - in additions to essential minerals, fiber and more - deliver enough protein to make it a meal in a bowl." We served it with soda crackers and a yummy green salad that Sweetie made. A great dinner for our first day after the rains.

By the way, I use a plastic produce bag to coat the mushrooms and shallots. If it is a clean bag, you can also use the outside of it to spread out the oiled veggies in the pans once you dump them out of the bag...keeping you hands clean...and then toss it. Since Sweetie insists on putting produce in the bags, I keep finding ways to re-use them, including using them to collect our compostable fruit and veggie scraps, tea bags and egg shells, etc.

Creamy Roasted Mushroom Soup

Makes 4 servings (about 6 cups)
by Ellie Krieger, Washington Post newspaper

1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as oyster, baby bella, shiitake and/or maitake, sliced
3 large shallots (9 oz. total), cut into 3/4-inch wedges
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon fine salt, divided, plus more to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 cups n-salt-added or low-sodium beef or vegetable broth, plus more broth or water as needed (I used low-sodium chicken broth)
1 (15-oz.) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/4 cup dry sherry (or use 1/4 cup broth and 1 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar)
   Chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, for garnish

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl (or plastic produce bag in my case) toss the mushrooms, shallots and 3 tablespoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Spread the coated mushroom mixture across 2 large, rimmed baking sheets and roast for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.

After 10 minutes, stir veggie in each pan, then return to the oven, switching the pans top and bottom and back to front. Roast another 10-15 minutes, or until the mushrooms release their water and brown, and the shallots soften. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until aromatic, 30 seconds. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mushrooms for garnish (I forgot to do this!). Add the remaining mushrooms and the shallots to the pot, along with the broth, beans, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the sherry and cook until the flavors meld, 3 minutes more.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot until smooth. (Alternatively, let cool until not scalding and puree in batches in a regular blender.) Stir additional broth or water if needed to thin to get your desired consistency.

Rewarm the soup if needed. Taste, and season with additional salt, if desired.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with mushrooms (if you remembered to set some aside) and chopped parsley. Serve at once.

1 comment :

  1. This sounds amazing. Our little valley has been soaked with rain as well - and it's so cold! - that it's kind of shocking. We've been living off of soup and Himself makes a "cream" of mushroom soup with dried and fresh mushrooms plus a block of silken tofu to give it the "cream." The cannelloni beans are a GREAT idea. Aren't Ellie Krieger recipes great? I don't subscribe to the paper, but I subscribe to the recipe newsletter from the Post. ☺