Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mushroom Induced Mania

I’m fortunate to be one of the 16,000 exclusive members of the Park Slope Food Coop. I feel a little less fortunate when my monthly work shift coincides with a religious holiday and I have to scramble to find a replacement, but for the most part I really love the Coop. Like everything else in life it has its pros and cons. I’ll name just a few. Pro: lots of like minded people. Con: lots of self righteous people. Does that mean I’m self righteous? Hope not. Con: some communist inspired red tape. Pro: the most delectable selection of affordable organic produce. Which brings me to my Thursday shop at the coop among a vunderbar variety of mushrooms.

I can’t just take a few. I’ll have to try them all. So here we have some portobella, shitake, maitake, king trumpet, oyster, chanterelle, bunashimeji and bunapi. (I did leave some mushrooms at the coop. There were cute little enoki mushrooms, but those came from Korea. I’m not buying food that comes from Korea. Sorry.)
Left: King Trumpets (top and bottom) Right: maitake - top, shitake - bottom

I’m a little bit embarrassed to say that I came home with approximately $42 worth of fungus.
I may be exaggerating. It might just have been closer to the $50 mark, but $42 could be interpreted as $40 and that just seems a little less daunting.

Chanterelles                                                                              Oysters

So what do we do with this many shrooms? Considering that winter is upon us, with a vengeance at that, this is really a no brainer. Soup. To be quite frank, I’d probably choose soup in any season. But with today having been the turning point from the autumn that would never end (yes I remember the freak snow storm in October) and a few delightful days of spring, soup seems justified. Mushroom soup it is.

bunashimeji                                                                               bunapi

As with most of my soups, I start with chopping some onions. Sauté them in olive oil.

just a friendly reminder that all these pix were taken with our super duper delightful canon 60D
chopped shitakes
I chop my many mushrooms and add them to the pot. The beefier mushrooms go in first, like portobella and chanterelle. I add the shitake, maitake, trumpets and oyster and let them cook down. The smell of mushrooms cooking really can induce a state of mania. When the mushrooms have released lots of liquid and have started to color I add the more gentle beech mushrooms. (Bunashimeji are beech mushrooms and bunapi are the white beech mushrooms.)

When all the mushrooms are somewhat softened, I add water to cover the mushrooms and couple of inches more.

steaming, oh yeah

After a half hour of a gentle, rolling boil I add the seasoning. It's a very simple seasoning, because the broth is rich with wonderful flavors of the mushroom varieties.
I add sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, a little paprika and some fresh dill.

chopped dill

Give it a quick stir so that the flavors blend and spoon it out.

So, I clearly have a hard time choosing. Mushrooms, Pictures, Shoes, Lipstick. GULP
The bright side. Always look at the bright side. I'm consistent. Woohoo.

... and that's my mushroom soup. I really like the rich earthy broth. Best of all, it's a little different every time.  
- Sometimes I cook up some unhulled barley and add that too.
- I don't measure the mushrooms. 
- The available varieties differ. Lobster mushrooms make a great addition. They weren't available this time around. Good thing there were enough other distractions... 

mushroom fest

To good health, good soup and keeping warm,



  1. Chana, not all the pictures are coming up. i LOVE mushroom, any type. My husband HATES mushroom. This soup would kill him. Looks heavenly. Cant believe anyone would use mushroom soup mix over fresh!

  2. This looks divine. I love soup and i LOVE mushrooms. Perfect combo.

  3. have you ever found 'turkey' mushrooms? i think those sell over here for $25 a piece! i guess they are very scarce....- supposed to taste special..

  4. have you ever had the turkey mushroom variety? i think those are sold at $25 a piece!

  5. Mmmmm! those mushrooms look so appetizing... We really love soup! I cook a lot with mushrooms but I never knew all the different kinds I just use whichever I find in the local stores.Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Had a hankering for mushroom soup and my first stop was your blog and this post. Also my last stop--you covered it all. Beautiful photos, writing, spirit. And, of course, can't wait to try the soup. Thinking of you and hope you are doing great!

    1. Thanks Bella! Appreciate the feedback and hope you had a fabulous soup (manic or not).