I never met a mushroom I didn’t like, and I’ve had the pleasure of quite a few.
If you ever get the chance, take a mushroom walk with the Boston Mycological Club(or your local club). They are a perfect collection of culinary, botany and sensation-seeking enthusiasts. When I went, we found baskets-full of colorful beauties, then using field guides and spore patterns (the definitive method to differentiate friend or foe from a safe-to-eat perspective), we identified, divided up and took home our bounties for happy times of all sorts.
Gathering mushrooms from the wild is getting evermore popular, but I don’t do it because even though I’ve had some experience with my mycological friends, every year even expert mushroom collectors eat the wrong fungi and that’s it – they can kill you. There are such a phenomenal range of cultivated mushrooms now available, I suggest sticking with and enjoying that.
I love the mushrooms, dill, and sour cream that frames Hungarian mushroom soup. If you can find a good local organic grass-fed sour cream, then by all means, use that (grass-fed dairy has a more favorable lipid profile as well as being easier on the earth relative to its mass-market cousins). If you are dairy-free, you can substitute a bit of soy milk plus an extra squeeze of lemon to approximate the tang you’ll miss from yogurt or sour cream.
Here I’ve aimed to boost the nutrient density by loading up on herbs – both dill and parsley, as well as other vegetables, and lightened it up with yogurt rather than sour cream. I found that when I used this quantity of herbs, I needed to blend the finished product – herbs are so delicate that when they are cooked like this in a soup, they need to be blended or finely finely chopped or their texture just isn’t what you want it to be.
1 – 16 oz package organic mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 large carrots
1/2 yellow onion, sliced & cubed
1/2 medium yellow turnip, peeled and sliced
2 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock
about 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
about 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp organic grass-fed yogurt or sour cream
In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Slice carrots and clean and slice mushrooms, and slice turnip, discarding any waxy covering it may have. Add these veggies to the pot and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add stock and simmer 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile, chop herbs. Add herbs and yogurt or sour cream. If necessary, cool and run through a blender for a smooth and creamy texture.