Mushrooms - posted

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:

Mushrooms 1 - posted


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

24 thoughts on “MUSHROOMS

  1. The soup sounds delicious, I’ll have to try it. We get morels on our property, but you really have to hunt to find them. And thanks for all the great ‘shroom facts!

      1. We live in a rural area of southern Ohio in the US. We have 13 acres, most of it is woods. Morels have a shape similar to a tiny fir tree, and they’re generally found in the early spring after a rain. I’ve only lived here about 8 years, and I’d not heard of them before. A couple years ago we bought some plugs of spores of Shiitake mushrooms. You place them in drilled holes of felled trees.

      2. You may have noted in the mushroom facts that the vit D content in shitake skyrockets when placed gill side up in sunlight for a day.

  2. I love morels. I think they are one of the finest tasting mushrooms! They are rarely found here on Vancouver Island. Mostly we have chanterelles, but they’re good too and fun to hunt for.

  3. Soup looks delicious! India we get mushrooms almost all the year round! It’s one of my favorite food as vegetarian. Thank you for sharing the recipe Raili. 💜

  4. Oh this sounds yummmmm…I love portabella mushrooms…will have to give this a try in the fall!!! 🍄🍄

  5. Brandy AND Port! Wow.
    Your so-called “mushroom trivia was fascinating.” Some of it I already knew, but there was a lot I didn’t. Few people realise how essential mushrooms are to our eco-system, or how incredibly tenacious they are.

      1. I very rarely drink, but the addition of the right alcohol improves most food – which reminds me – I have to get a bottle of red wine to throw into a bumper batch of bolognese sauce for freezing.

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