This week’s recipe is Fresh Mushroom Soup. Judy tells me it’s a big seller at her restaurant, Prairie Cottage Perogies.
You can use any variety of cultivated mushrooms for this recipe, as long as they’re fresh. Or you could try a combination of cultivated and wild mushrooms from the supermarket.
Ukrainians are known for their love of mushrooms, especially wild ones. Some Ukrainians have an uncanny way of knowing exactly where, when, and how to pick the right ones in the wild. This knowledge is highly prized, as it goes beyond knowing the secret spots for the best mushrooms. It can be a matter of life and death, as some fatally toxic wild mushrooms closely resemble the edible varieties, and can fool any but the most experienced and knowledgeable mushroom pickers.
So whatever you do, please don’t set out on an expedition to pick wild mushrooms for this recipe unless you are an absolute expert at distinguishing edible from toxic varieties. And definitely DO NOT use magic mushrooms! Play it safe and visit your favourite supermarket or green grocer and stock up there.
Fresh Mushroom Soup
1 1/2 lbs fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 large potatoes, diced
1 small parsnip, sliced
1 medium turnip, diced
8 cups of water or chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup whipping cream (optional)
Sauté the mushrooms and onions and butter. Cook until onions become soft.
Sprinkle with flour and mix.
Cook the other vegetables in water or stock until done. Add the mushroom-onion mixture, stirring while bringing to a boil.
Season to taste and continue to cook over medium heat for ten minutes. Add whipping cream and remove from heat. Puree soup if desired.
Serve with a rich brown bread for a nice hearty lunch. (Serves 8-10.)