A good summer or autumn soup for a crowd.
This recipe is based on Jamie Oliver's Real Mushroom soup published in Jamie's Dinners. Serves 6 people as an appetizer.
You can use a mixture of any wild or store brought mushrooms for this soup. I've been out for a few walks with the family picking the odd bag of autumn mushrooms as I go along. If you are lucky you might still find a few Late Fall Oyster or Brick tops. The nice thing about this soup it that it has a good base of mushrooms without too much dairy or stock. The citrus from the lemon zest and juice or in my example the last of the summers pickled chanterelles, cut the richness of the soup nicely.
Morel season has arrived a bit later this year but that does not mean there are no edible mushrooms available for collecting. On a recent club walk in Hartwood acres we found quite a lot of Wood Ear mushroom Auricularia auricula, which is a jelly fungus in the family Auriculariaceae. In Asia a different species of Wood Ear mushroom, Auricularia polytricha, is used in cooking. You can find fresh or dried Auricularia polytricha in the Asian stores on the strip in Pittsburgh. The wood ear fungi are used in Asian dishes for their crisp, snappy texture and their color rather than their taste. You need quite a lot of them to make a decent sized dish so I supplemented this recipe with Shiitake mushrooms. Like many Chinese recipes there is quite a bit of preparation but the actual cooking is very quick. Serves 6 people as an appetizer.