Winter is almost here and the weather has turned cold. In this household it instantly spurs on a desire for heart warming soups and stews. We could eat them every day during the cold season.
Another favorite of ours are mushrooms… Every type of mushroom cooked in every which way. So, seeing that mushroom soup covers both of those categories, it is a regular winner on our winter menu!
With mushrooms it is quite important to buy them organic or to forage for them in clean environments. The reason for this is that mushrooms are like sponges and they absorb everything around them. The good, the bad and the really toxic. In fact they are so efficient at sponging up around them that they are often used to clean up toxic waste from hazardous areas… they have even been used in projects to absorb radiation from places like Chernobyl.
If you are a mushroom forager then wild mushrooms are always best. They pop up where they have found nutrient dense earth to nourish themselves from, which in turn nourishes us and it also gives them 10 x more flavor than the ones we can buy in the supermarkets. I am an avid mushroom forager, however, unfortunately, where we currently live, Las Vegas, wild mushrooms are slim pickings and we have to do with supermarket mushrooms. A good place to find inexpensive mushrooms and often organic are Asian supermarkets. The variety is wide and the prices are great!
- 4 tbsp oil or butter, divided (coconut oil, red palm oil or grass fed ghee although grass fed butter goes amazingly well with mushrooms and is my choice of preference for this dish)
- 1 organic medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, bundled with kitchen twine
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups of organic or wild foraged mushrooms, sliced – preferably fresh. (The more different types of mushrooms you use the deeper and richer the flavor.) Some mushroom varieties are:
- Baby Bella
- King Oyster
- Brown Oyster
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 6 cups of chicken bone broth or vegetable stock
- 1 can of organic coconut milk
- Himalayan salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat 3 tbsp oil or butter in a larger stock pot over medium heat.
- Add chopped onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and saute for 5 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.
- Add sliced mushrooms, saving about 1 cup for later.
- Saute for about 15 minutes. Season with 1 tsp Himalayan salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
- Add white wine and simmer for a few minutes before adding chicken/vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, saute remaining cup of mushrooms on a separate pan with 1 tbsp butter or oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Remove thyme bundle and bay leaf and discard. Working in batches, add soup to blender and blend until smooth and creamy. About 1 – 2 minutes.
- Return blended soup to pot and add coconut milk. Allow to simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes. Season with additional Himalayan salt and pepper to taste.
- Add sauteed mushrooms to soup and serve hot.
For variations, you can add a bunch of baby spinach at the end, just wilting it in the soup right before serving.
You could also precook some organic basmati rice and add about 1/4 cup to each bowl before serving.