Victory is mine!! TRH (The Retired Husband) liked my mushroom soup! He even had seconds! And said I could make it again! Ok, that’s enough. Just had to gloat a bit…
Here’s some interesting mushroom trivia to whet your appetite –
- Mushrooms are comprised of 85-95 % water.
- Mushrooms have their own immune system.
- Mushrooms are more closely related in DNA to humans than to plants.
- Like human skin, mushrooms can produce vitamin D by being exposed to sunlight. In fact, exposing a freshly cut shiitake mushroom, gills up, to the sun for eight hours can increase its vitamin D content by as much as 4,600 times!
- There are approximately 70 miles of mycelium (the root of the mushroom) in one square inch of colonized organic matter, such as a decomposing tree trunk.
- The Honey Mushroom (Armillaria ostoyae) is the world’s largest known organism. This massive organism covers 2,384 acres (nearly four square miles) of soil in Oregon’s Blue Mountains. The fungus is estimated to be 2,400 years old but could be as ancient as 8,650 years.
- Psathyrella aquatica is a gilled mushroom that lives completely under water.
- There are more amino acids in mushrooms than in corn, peanuts, or soybeans.
- Mycelium can use toxic substances such as oil and e coli bacteria as a food source.
- The Mycena family of fungus contains more than 70 species of mushrooms that glow in the dark. These mushrooms produce light by a chemical reaction called bioluminescence. In the past, people illuminated their way through the woods using these glowing pieces of fungus-colonized wood.
- In the Amazon Rainforest, mushrooms release spores high into the air, creating the surface for water to condense, thus triggering rain. A feedback loop is created as the rain promotes more fungal growth.
- Over 80 percent of all terrestrial plants have a mycorrhizal relationship with a fungal species. The roots of the plants have a symbiotic relationship with the underground mycelium. Mycelium nourishes the plant’s roots, and in turn, the plant transfers nutrients to the mycelium.
- Fungi use antibiotics to fend off other microorganisms that compete with them for food.
- The antibiotic penicillin was derived from the fungal species Penicillium
That’s a lot of good reasons to eat them, right?! So without further ado, here’s the recipe:
Sweat the onions in olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan.
Add garlic, black pepper, thyme, tabasco and Worcestershire sauces.
Add chopped mushrooms and brandy. Combine. Cook down the mushrooms, then add 1 litre of chicken stock.
Cook slowly over a low heat. When mushrooms are cooked, add port and zest of 1 lemon. Slowly stir in 1 tub of fresh or sour cream (oops, sorry! Left that out of the ingredients)
Puree soup till smooth.
Sprinkle with some lemon zest and add a dollop of cream.
This recipe makes approx. 3- 4 litres of soup
Note about the mushrooms: I wanted to use fresh porcini mushrooms. Unfortunately I missed the season by a week so could only get dried ones. They add a lot of flavour, but need to be soaked in hot water first. I soaked them for 1.5 hours and used the soaking liquid in the soup as well. Once pureed, the soup did have dark brown flecks but no hard bits.
I used a mix of 4 different mushrooms – button mushrooms, swiss brown, wild harvested pine mushrooms and dried porcini. It’s not the cheapest soup to make but good for a special treat.
© Raili Tanska