Soup is as old as the hills and loved by the world. It’s loaded with vitamins, and nutrients, easy on the pocketbook, and with little effort needed. Although soups are enjoyed throughout the year, the cooler months of winter are when I appreciate them the most. They’re one of my go-to comfort foods. My mushroom soup is versatile and can be made in various ways. Choose to make it with a clear broth, cream, or a combination of both. Adding herbs and spices enhances the flavour profile. And speaking of flavour profiles, I discovered mushroom powder. It was like an eureka moment and I wondered how the heck I didn’t know about it sooner.
Adding mushroom powder to the soup gives it an immediate umami boost. I searched my local grocery store for the powder but came up empty-handed. What to do? I really wanted this. While hanging around the aisle where the mushrooms were and trying to come up with a solution, I spotted a package of dried porcini mushrooms. Yes! I know how I’m going to get that powder. I have a pestle and mortar at home and planned to grind the dried mushroom into powder. The result? It worked with a bit of elbow grease and I was pleased as punch. A coffee grinder would have been a better solution (faster and with less muscle strain). 🙂 The workout was worth the effort as mushroom powder is the pixie dust of the savoury food world!
I subsequently found mushroom powder from our local farmers’ market. Yay! I purchased porcini but other fungi varieties are available. The powder adds depth to soups, sauces, stews and roasts. Mix it with salt and you have a scrumptious finish to any savoury dish.
you will need
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. mushrooms (single variety or mixed), sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (I used leeks)
1/2 cup red wine (can use Marsala or sherry)
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon mushroom powder
In a large pot melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms. Cook until reduced and golden brown. Toss in onions and stir. When onions have softened, add garlic and thyme. Stir until fragrant. Pour in wine. Stir and allow the wine to reduce significantly (almost dry) before adding flour. When flour is added, stir until the mushroom mixed is coated. Add stock. Stir until heated through and starting to bubble away. Remove from heat and use a hand-held blender. Blend until desired consistency. Stir in mushroom powder before adding lemon juice and zest. Return the pot to heat. If the soup is too thick, add more stock or water.
When ready to serve, top with a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and thinly sliced Parmesan cheese. Finish by sprinkling mushroom powder on top.
the culinary chase’s note:
If there’s any leftover soup, use it as a sauce for pasta. Enjoy!