Edited by Sunita Budhrani
Fall’s orange hue has been with us for some time now but it has only been over the past several days where the familiar chill in the air calls for soups, stews and a big blanket at my feet.
Displayed at the Farmer’s Market in Ballard this weekend were some incredible colors from the varieties of squash to the piles of kale to the vividly orange, and juicy carrots. However, my delectable find this time were the Chanterelle mushrooms, luring me in with their velvety, bright yellow curls. Even at $14 a pound, the temptation could not be resisted. The season is undeservedly short for these foraged finds.
These Chanterelle mushrooms bring with them memories that take me back to that mossy rock by my grandmother’s summer cabin. Back then, mushrooms were a common element in Finnish foods lending their earthy goodness to various sauces, and soups.
My grandmother used to make ‘Kanttarellikeitto’ - Chanterelle Mushroom Soup. A recipe that can be easily adjusted to almost anyone's liking. There is only one condition, you have to like mushrooms. Tonight, I opted for shallots instead of onions. Shallots seem to blend in better in soups and are a touch more mellow to my taste buds.
Feel free to adjust the ingredients as you deem palatable as soups are pretty forgiving. Whatever the type of mushroom, you will always be guaranteed a nice, hearty meal with some warm bread and a green salad on the side.
1 lb Chanterelle Mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
Two Shallots, diced small
4 tbsp. Butter
2 tbsp. Flour
2-3 cups Chicken or Vegetable broth
Thyme, fresh or dried
Parsley, fresh or dried
1-2 cups cream
2 tbsp. Sherry (it adds flavor complexity but not absolutely necessary)
Sea salt and white pepper (optional)
To start, melt the butter over medium heat, and saute the shallots for a couple minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook for about five minutes. Be careful not to let the shallots turn brown, you are just sweating them to soften them up.
Add the flour and mix well together. Next, add the broth, continually stirring, making sure there are no clumps. If you are using dried thyme and parsley, now would be a good time to add those in. Bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the cream and sherry and bring to a boil, quickly turn down the heat to avoid burning. If you are using fresh herbs, now would be the time to throw them in.
Season with a little salt and white pepper to finish. This comes from my Finnish home to yours, enjoy!