Wheatless Wednesday – Creamy Morel Mushroom Soup

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I’m not saying good bye to soup yet.  I know it’s spring and the sun is shining but as soon as the sun goes down it gets chilly and soup still seems like the perfect way to get warmed up from the inside out.  I love soup and I love mushrooms, hence Creamy Mushroom Soup, however, for a short time in spring, my absolute favorite of mushrooms is available, the coveted morel.  Much to my delight they were offered in my weekly CSA box and I clutched them in my hands like a prize.  Yet, I was in a quandary of what to make with them. Morels offer so many possibilities and they can turn an ordinary meal into a five star feast.  It was a rare drizzly day in California, so soup it was – this time.  Spoiler Alert! This won’t be the last you see of morel mushrooms from me this spring…

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Morel mushrooms are usually found in moist areas, around dying or dead Elm trees, Sycamore and Ash trees, old apple orchards and sometimes in our own back yards.  After hitting ‘Google University’, of which I am a full time student since starting this blog, I have discovered that morels are a favorite for ‘shroomers’, avid mushroom hunters who take to the woods in spring in search of  tasty morels.  Apparently people who like to hunt mushrooms are colorful individuals who like to tell tall tales, as I also learned about “SWATS” (Scientific Wild Ass Theories) on how, where, and when to find them which apparently differ from shroomer to shroomer.  I personally don’t ‘hunt’ mushrooms even though I have many that pop up in my garden because I don’t trust my ability to identify, and mistakes can have serious consequences.  I’m quite happy to get them safely identified with my weekly produce, however, the brave and hearty can learn more about morel mushroom hunting along with a dose of humor from The Great Morel.

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This version of mushroom soup derives most of it’s creaminess from a pureed potato and leek mixture rather than heavy cream or other thickeners.  I love the extra nutrients that the potatoes provide without the added calories, fat or cholesterol. Carb-fearing folks can be assured that Potatoes are complex carbohydrates which is our main source of energy. They are also a surprisingly good source of vitamin C and potassium, among other nutrients.   I also love the delicate flavor of leeks which is more sophisticated than onions but if you don’t have leeks, use onions or shallots.  I like to swirl in a half cup of plain yogurt towards the end for extra creaminess but that is purely optional.  In the spirit of eating farm to table, I use a yogurt from a  local and animal friendly farm, otherwise I would probably use a coconut, almond, soy or any other great plain non-dairy yogurt.

TIPS:  Mushroom lovers might like to ramp up the mushroom flavor by adding 1/2 cup dry wild mushrooms(reconstituted in hot water) or 1 cup earthy fresh mushrooms to the leek mixture and then blending along with the potatoes. The longer the soup is allowed to sit, the more flavors will develop. In fact it is better the next day.

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CREAMY MOREL MUSHROOM SOUP

2 cups fresh morels (or other fresh mushrooms)
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
2-3 cups water
1 large or 2 small leeks
2 medium russet potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup plain yogurt, any kind (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)

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  • Peel and dice the potatoes and boil on medium low in water for 20 to 30 minutes, covered, in a large pot until very soft.  Add more water if needed.

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  • While the potatoes are cooking, remove the root and dark green ends of the leek and slice in half lengthwise.  Clean by running water between the layers (fanning them like a deck of cards) to remove any dirt. Slice leeks into strips lengthwise and then chop by slicing crosswise.

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  • Saute the leeks in 2 Tbsn butter in a skillet until very soft.  Cover and add 1/4 cup water to make sure they get soft enough.

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  • Let potatoes and leeks cool slightly and process in a blender or food processor until smooth. If mixture is too thick add water 1/4 cup at a time.  Don’t overprocess as potatoes can get ‘gluey’.

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  • Rinse out pot and return potato leek mixture to the pot.  Add broth and stir to combine. Yum, look how creamy!

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  • Roughly chop the mushrooms and saute them in remaining butter until they are beginning to soften.

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  • Add wine and cook until it has almost entirely evaporated.

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  • Add the morels to the potatoes and bring to a simmer.

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  • Stir in the yogurt (if using), and add salt, and pepper to taste.  Turn the burner to low or off and let sit until serving to let the flavors develope.

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  • Toast pine nuts in a small dry pan for several minutes over medium heat until golden. Remove from heat and let cool.

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  • Serve soup with toasted pine nuts and a sprinkle of parmesan (both optional).

 

Creamy Morel Mushroom Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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2 cups morels (or other fresh mushrooms)
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
2-3 cups water
1 large or 2 small leeks
2 medium russet potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup plain yogurt (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)

  • Peel and dice the potatoes and boil on medium low in water for 20 to 30 minutes, covered, in a large pot until very soft.  Add more water if needed.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, remove the root and dark green ends of the leek and slice in half lengthwise.  Clean by running water between the layers (fanning them like a deck of cards) to remove any dirt. Slice leeks into strips lengthwise and then chop by slicing crosswise.
  • Saute the leeks in 2 Tbsn butter in a skillet until very soft.  Cover and add 1/4 cup water to hasten the process.
  • Let potatoes and leeks cool slightly and process in a blender or food processor until smooth. If mixture is too thick add water 1/4 cup at a time.  Don’t overprocess as potatoes can get ‘gluey’.
  • Rinse out pot and return potato leek mixture to the pot.  Add broth and stir to combine.
  • Roughly chop the mushrooms and saute them in remaining butter until they are beginning to soften.  Add wine and cook until it has almost entirely evaporated.
  • Add the morels to the potatoes and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in the yogurt (if using), and add salt, and pepper to taste.  Turn the burner to low or off and let sit until serving to let the flavors blend.
  • Toast pine nuts in a small dry pan for several minutes over medium heat until golden. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Serve soup with toasted pine nuts and a sprinkle of parmesan (both optional).

 

5 thoughts on “Wheatless Wednesday – Creamy Morel Mushroom Soup

  1. This looks so yummy! I’d be tempted to add haricot beans instead of pin nuts – I shall bookmark this page and make this someday soon. Thanks for sharing honey!

    Like

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