Friday, January 16, 2009

Hundred dollar soup [RECIPE]

Hey, speaking of shit I did way back in the day over the holiday break, I made some really amazing mushroom soup that, we realized, would have probably net us about $100 a bowl if we sold it on the open market. Or, wherever it is one might sell mushroom soup.

That's a real eye opener when you're slurping away on your soup, taking only momentary breaks to sip from the New Year's cocktails, to suddenly realize that those last two spoonfuls were probably worth more than the bowl from which you're eating.


Why so spendy, this soup? Because I made it from almost 8 oz of dried porcini and portabello mushrooms that Bubba picked during a supervised mushroom hunting expedition on a fishing trip last year.

My scale proved to be too small for the measuring of so many mushrooms.

So, basically, the mushrooms were free for us, thanks to Bubba's handpicking, and all we had to do was eat the soup, cross our fingers and sing "Don't die! Don't die, don't die, don't die!" because handpicked mushrooms are iffy things that sometimes result in horrors and I have a tendency to try to kill us with foraged produce.

The best part was going for a run on New Year's morning and realizing, halfway through my run mind you, that "Hey! I'm alive! We didn't die from dinner!", which is a realization I'm ashamed to say that I have on a regular basis.

Apparently my cooking can be a little death-defying.

Anyway, the super fancy spendiness of the mushrooms was confirmed for us the other day when we went to our favorite butcher for meats to smoke (coming soon) and saw potato chip sized bags of dried porcini mushrooms for $60!

Now, why that bag was $60 and we could get the same amount online for $43, I don't know, but we imagined that the mix of dried mushrooms that I reinflated (obviously the technical term) for our New Year's dinner was Supah Fancy, so was easily $100.

Also, that sounds a lot more fun that Fourty-Three dollar soup. I think you'll agree.

ANYWAY, wouldn't you like to try my not-so-death-defying "$100" soup? I thought so. But be sure you don't spend $100 to make it because that is silliness. Also, make sure that your mushrooms are from a safe and reliable source like ours were based on the fact that Bubba and these mushroom picker friends ate some the night they picked them and everyone lived and didn't even get the sprays. You know what I mean.

Also - before I forget - DO NOT FORGET TO SAVE THE MUSHROOM BROTH. I really can't stress this point enough. It is extremely delicious and can be used to flavor up dishes where you'd normally use chicken, beef or vegetable broth.

Personally, I poured most of it over a smoked pot roast (remember, coming soon) and oh my holy hell if it didn't result in the most amazing gravy ever.

Ok, I've said too much about the Coming Soon Smoked Meats post, but still DO NOT FORGET TO SAVE THE MUSHROOM BROTH.

I like to put mine in a little jar with an ID band, as such:

This way no one thinks it's something that went bad in the fridge and then throws it out.

But for the recipe then:
It at least LOOKS like a hundred bucks, right?
$100 Mushroom Soup
Adapted from Porcini Mushroom Soup, Kitchen Bible,
My changes in bold

  • 6-8 oz dried porcini and portabello mushrooms
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling water
  • 3 T extra virgins + plenty more for plating
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, stalked
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 t chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 t chopped fresh lemon thyme
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 8 oz homecanned tomatoes
  • 2 cups cubed day old bread
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
To make
Combine the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it, letting it stand for about half hour to inflate. Again, very technical. Feel free to watch this process. It's neato. When they're all reinflated, squeeze the squishy mushrooms over a sieve, over the bowl with the broth already in it, to get every last drop out possible. But don't get too squeezy, you don't want mushroom mush. Chop up the mushrooms and set aside.

You can stare at them if you want.

They're miraculous.

Isn't it fun to keep the leaves on the celery? I thought so. Because I'm that way.

Heat the oil in a big saucepan (I used a 2.5 quarter) over medium/low heat. Add the onions for a few minutes until they're fragrant, then celery until tender, then add the mushrooms, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Mix this magic together and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

I kind of just wanted to eat it like this because it smelled ruuully good.

Add the stock, tomatoes and about a cup of the mushroom liquid. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and spoon into good sized bowls. Stir in a handful of bread cubes and top with a swirl of fruity olive oil. Serve it up hot and perhaps with a nice Waldorf inspired salad. And, of course, the cocktail of your choice. I don't think I have to tell you what I had.



  1. LMAO! I just about sprayed out my nose when I read your "...didn't even get the sprays" comment. ROFL Ok, now I'm laughing again! Thanks for that one!!!

    So are those mushrooms really that green on the inside once rehydrated, or is that just a trick of the light?

    And did I miss something? You should share how you dried them! Way cool!

    You guys are such hippies...

  2. Oh yum. Now I really want some mushroom soup. You are evil with the whole tempting us with things we can't have routine. Sure, you're funny and clever, but inside you are evil, pure evil.

  3. Due to my conviction that any mushroom not from the store is probably poisonous (or at least, any mushroom I try to identify, because I CAN'T identify mushrooms) and the cheapness that won't allow me to spend sixty bucks on some dried fungi, I don't think I'll ever make this. So I'll just have to admire yours from afar.

  4. It does indeed look like $100. Thanks so much for sharing recipe and fun post about the mushrooms. All broths shall be saved at my house, I promise.

  5. Indeed delicious, your soup looks.

    I know about million dollar fungi because in Montana, every summer, we have the race for the morels. They grow in the previous summer's burned forests so it is tricky business. Plus, they hyper camouflaged becuase they look like little burned trees.

    I have never foraged for them....maybe this year.


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