Thursday, December 22, 2011
Slovenian Mushroom Soup - Gobova Juha
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The Silver Fox and I are fortunate to live in a heavily forested part of the country. That means that exotic mushrooms can usually be purchased here for pennies on the dollar. In the fall, it is not uncommon to see seasonal hunters foraging for the more exotic members of the species. Brokers rent temporary sheds and serve as collecting points for the harvest and area stores and green markets benefit from easy proximity to these distribution centers. We even have a mushroom festival to celebrate the fall gathering and I've found a mushroom man who has taught me the ins and out of the hunt and what can be found on the forest floor. It was at one of these festivals that I first tasted a Slovenian mushroom soup, and began my search for the penultimate version of the soup that's known as Gobova Juha. I've found it, and while I can claim no credit for its creation, I feel duty bound to let others know about it. I made this soup for our lunch today and was once again reminded how very good it is. The soup is fast and easy to prepare, and while it is best made with made with wild mushrooms, creminis are a great substitute as long as you add a handful of dried mushrooms to boost its woodsy flavor. If you use creminis, wipe them clean and cut them into chunky quarters. You can, by the way, use up to a pound of them if you like a really meaty soup. This is a light soup and it is very low in calories. I don't think it is substantial enough for dinner, but it is perfect for lunch if you serve it with a salad and a hunk of of really good bread. I hope you'll give this a try. Here's the recipe for an uncommon and uncommonly good mushroom soup.
Slovenian Mushroom Soup - Gobova Juha...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Soupsong
1 pound of meaty wild mushrooms cut into chunks, or a combination of half a pound of mushrooms bought from a store and three tablespoons of crumbled dried mushrooms which have been soaked in warm milk for a minimum of twenty minutes (this liquid may be kept for later use in another recipe).
4 to 5 tablespoons of butter
1 finely chopped medium onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided use
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 cups warm water
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of dried marjoram, crumbled
1/2 cup semi-dry white wine (if possible a traminec or true rizling) or 1 tablespoon of wine vinegar
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Dollops of sour cream
1) Melt butter in a large saucepan and saute onions until transparent. Stir in flour along with 1/2 teaspoon garlic and cook until frothy, about 30 seconds.
2) Stir in mushrooms (whatever kind you have opted for). Add water, bay leaves, pepper, and marjoram.
3) Simmer and cook on low heat for ten minutes, then add potatoes and reserved 1/2 teaspoon garlic. Continue cooking, stirring at frequent intervals, for five minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
4) Add wine or vinegar and adjust seasoning to taste with salt. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
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