I always thought growing up that when somebody mentioned, a ‘can of mushroom soup’, they meant Campbell’s which is what I use this to make gravy from. I never thought of it as a soup that I’d enjoy all on its own. Then as I was coming up with a new recipe for this post, my mind was on mushrooms…why you say? Well, because this past weekend I baked a chicken pasta casserole where again I made my gravy out of you know what? A can of mushroom soup! So I went digging around for how other people make it. I had never made this soup before you see.
That’s when I discovered Chanterelles. If you have heard of these or even cooked with them, I applaud you but if you never have, let me tell you a bit about them. They’re often called the Golden Mushrooms and are known to the Italians as Girolle and in German they are called Pfifferling. Wherever they are harvested they are prized for their superb flavor.
Chanterelles are only found in the wild. So far, efforts to cultivate Chanterelles have never proved successful. Tough mild, Chanterelles have that slight spicy edge which is characteristic of things that grow on their own in the forests and fields – something that comes from competing in a natural environment. The Chanterelle is distinctive in that its flavor is saturated, and stands up well to main ingredients in soups, stews, and other main courses.
To clean them, it’s best to brush them and pick off any dirt unless they are very dirty. If washing is required do so immediately before use to avoid storing wet mushrooms. Fresh Chanterelles should be clean and (almost) dry to the touch.
The aroma should be fruity – like fresh Apricots. Little bits of the woods (a pine needle or some moss) may be seen – just pick it out. When I first saw a picture of these, I fell in love with their golden color and I immediately had to search to see where to buy them. I found a place in Oregon called Oregon Mushrooms that sell these from 1/2 lb. up to 10 lbs. If you’re interesting in purchasing these, follow this link!
Chanterelles are a part of the cantharellus family. They can be found in either sandy soil, humus, or decaying wood, usually fruiting in the late summer and fall.
And the recipe for making this soup is so easy and it’s creamy and delicious, you must try it!
Chanterelle Mushroom SoupCourse: Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. finely chopped Vidalia onion
1 lb. fresh Chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned, and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. flour
2 c. chicken broth
2 c. half and half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. white grape juice
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
sour cream (topping)
- Melt butter in a heavy saucepan set over medium heat. When foam from butter subsides, add onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to coat onions and mushrooms with flour.
- Add broth, immediately bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
- Add half-and-half, salt and pepper and heat on low – just below a simmer – for 10 minutes.
- Add white grape juice, stir and serve. Top with chopped chives or a spoonful of sour cream.