I thought I may be skipping this weekend, but when opportunity falls in your lap, you take it, right?

If you've been following my blog, you already know that I love mushrooms. We were lucky today, because Keith hit the jackpot - and we ended up with quite a pile of morel mushrooms. I know what you're thinking - where did you find them in the city? I'm not telling. Honestly, I don't know. I wasn't there. But you know what they say... don't look a gift horse blah blah blah.

Anyway, Mom would always make them fried with a bit of coating - eggs, crackers, flour -- something like that. (Again, if you've been following this, you also know I need to call her on a regular basis to ask how she does things.)

Tonight, though, we made soup - and it turned out pretty good. I'm going to preface this one by saying that measurements are approximate, because I was making some of it up as I was going. The nice thing about this type of thing, though, is that you can do that - and make it to taste.

Creamy Morel Soup
1/2 c. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 c. leeks, chopped
1 c. yellow onion, shopped
2 c. asparagus, in bite-sized pieces
3-4 c. morel mushrooms
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. heavy cream
1 can wild rice (pre-cooked)
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1/8 tsp. thyme
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

In large saucepan, melt butter. Add leeks, onion, and garlic - saute until onions become soft. Add mushrooms and asparagus, stirring into the mixture with thyme, and about 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Add about 1 c. of chicken broth and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add rice, and simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat. Add cream and parsley and heat, but do not boil. Taste test, and add salt/pepper to taste.

A few notes from my experience - you can add quite a bit of pepper, given how much is in the pan. I added quite a bit more at the end, because I'd been very conservative in the beginning. I also tend to add a couple of other random spices that are sitting on the counter -- this time I used a generous dash of Montreal Steak Grillin' spices. This is definitely one of those things that you taste as you make to get it just right. But in the end, we really liked it -- and serving it with garlic bread made it even better -- and if you wanted, you could use garlic croutons as an alternative.

Now we need to figure out what to do with all the leftover morels we have... like I said - jackpot! We're talking about dehydrating some to keep to use later in the year. I'll eat them anytime, anywhere, and any way.

So, my question to you is: How do you like your morels?


p.s. a special thank you to Jenny for sending me the tuscan chicken recipe ... I'll be making that SOON! :)

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