Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Hungarian Mushroom Soup - Mushroom Festival - Outdoor Wednesday
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We've attended the mushroom festival at our local arboretum for ten years now. Bob's first observations of the event led him to conclude it wasn't a venue where the Junior League was likely to meet and greet. I'm not so sure. I suspect they had an understated presence and were peppered throughout the crowd of academics, students and farmers or could be found wandering alongside those who buy and sell mushrooms. Yes, there still are folks who supplement their incomes hunting mushrooms and, while it may not be politically correct, they call themselves hoobie hunters - swear to God. While the event is enormous fun, it's primary purpose is to teach and provide an opportunity for mycologists and mushroom lovers to socialize. Once prizes have been awarded, they do just that. The weather, almost always damp, chills the bones and causes sensible folks to question the sanity of those who traipse through the woods on the the mycological equivalent of a treasure hunt. The day is filled with food and music and good family fun, including a scarecrow competition for the children. Photos of some of their entries appear at the bottom of this post. The children come bundled head to toe, wearing muffs and gloves and "wellies" to keep the chill at bay. I spend as much time as possible with the chefs and cooks and food purveyors who set up shop for the day. Everything they sell must be mushroom based and it's really interesting to see what they come up with. I have a series of recipes that I'll be sharing with you over the next few weeks, but I wanted to start with this soup because it's so easy to do. I had a version of this as a child. Back then the onions and mushrooms were cooked in bacon drippings and the soup had enormous layered flavor. Alas, we no longer use bacon drippings, but there was a time when every kitchen had a container to hold them. I know some of you remember that, but I won't force you to fess up. Having said how wonderful this is made with bacon, today's recipe uses butter in its place. It's almost as good and it's marginally better for you. This soup comes from the steppes of Hungary and it's laced with sweet rose paprika. If you enjoy heat, and know your tolerance, hot Hungarian paprika can be substituted.
Hungarian Mushroom Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 pound fresh mixed mushrooms (Shiitake, Maitake, Oyster etc.) or 1 pound fresh crimini mushrooms
2 cups chopped onions
4 tablespoons butter, divided use
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh dill fronds or 1 teaspoon dill weed
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided use
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1) Using a large skillet, saute onion in 2 tablespoons butter until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, dill, 1/2 cup stock, tamari and paprika. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.
2) Melt reserved 2 tablespoons butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for two to three minutes. Add milk, stirring frequently over low heat until thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in mushroom mixture and remaining 1-1/2 cups stock. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes. Just before serving add salt and pepper to taste; stir in lemon juice, sour cream and, if desired, additional dill. Garnish with parsley. Yield: 4 servings.
This is being linked to:
Outdoor Wednesday, an event sponsored by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.