Mushroom soup is easy to make. Widely available button mushrooms provide a bit of a bland taste, though. Here we use fresh crimini and oyster mushrooms, dried ji song rong (agaricus blazei) and frozen Yunnan black truffle (tuber himalayensis). If you cannot acquire truffle, just leave it out. You may replace the ji song rong with dried porcini or dried morels. Your soup will still taste very nice, but different.
Mushrooms provide not only a lot of flavor but also provide a lot of minerals: potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorous.
The art of making mushroom soup with a hint of truffle
For this mushroom soup lots of flavour is derived from the dried mushrooms and truffle. ji song rong are gourmet and medicinal mushrooms and are cultivated. You can buy them also dried. They are one of the best dried mushrooms to still keep their flavor upon re-hydration. Make sure to use the rehydration broth!
Truffles can be cultivated, in the right climate, among the right (oak or hazelnut) trees with which they have a symbiotic life after seeding the mycorrhizal network. But they still need to be harvested often using dogs. Truffles used to come mainly from Spain, Italy and France as for centuries truffles have been part of the local cuisine. Obviously a whole logistics network has developed around these source countries. But nowadays truffles grow in the Pacific north west of the Americas (Oregon) in most of Europe, in the middle east, even close to the desert areas of Southern Africa, in the forests bordering the Himalayas and in Australia. I have used a special truffle from Yunnan province in South-West China. It is difficult to tell apart from the black Périgord truffle in Europe, other than the smell. Tuber himalayensis has more of a chocolate smell and is a bit less intense. I kept it frozen in my freezer for about 4 months.
If you have the luck (like we in Asia) to have access to many types of cultivated mushrooms, you learn to discern their flavor. Crimini and oyster mushrooms provide for a nice mix. I find shitakes too strong. But use what you can get for a reasonable price.
Ingredients to make the soup
- 0.85 oz (24 g) dried agaricus blazei
- 7.4 oz (210 g) crimini (chestnut) mush rooms
- 7.4 oz (210 g) oyster mushrooms
- 0.6 oz (18 g) black Yunnan truffle (tuber himalayensis) (about a half)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 oz (170 g) onion
- 3.2 oz (90 g) celery leaves or celeriac
- 0.35 oz (10 g) parsley finely sliced
- 1 tsp thyme (dried)
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 3 tbsp cooking cream
- 2.1 oz (60 g) unsalted butter
- 7.1 oz (200 g) milk
Instruction on how to make the soup
Make water luke warm (around 50 C) and add 380 ml to the dried morels. Let steep for 40 min. Cover and push the mushrooms under the water level with a saucer or the like.
Clean the other mushrooms with a brush or towel and cut them in slices
Cut the onion, the celery and garlic in slices
Cut the truffle in slices
Melt the butter in a pan
Glaze the onions and the garlic
After some 10 minutes add the crimini and the oyster mushrooms. Increase the fire until juices come out, then put on low for 15 min. After this time take out quite several nice slices out and reserve. Add 1/2 tsp of salt
Then add the sliced, re-hydrated mushroom, the sliced truffle, the parsley and the thyme and all the left-over mushroom 'broth' (330 ml) as well as additional 600 ml of water
Simmer for 1 hr
Use the immersion blender to make a thickened mushroom soup; Then add the reserved mushroom slices and bring to taste with pepper and salt. I added at this step 1 tsp kitchen salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Serve with a little cooking cream and some of the reserved mushroom slices on top and some parsley
Method: panfrying, then simmering
Food allergy & intolerance information: none
- Fresh truffles pack the most flavor. The dried version is 4 times more concentrated. So use less of these, however during the drying they have lost a certain flavor profile. If you use frozen truffles, it depends how long they have been stored. Taste pallet is slightly different from dried truffles but also flavor intensity drops with time
- This soup uses the natural thickening from the blending. So it does not use a béchamel or added starch. Also it is packed with so much flavor that it can be made without broth (or broth cubes).