My self-imposed fall soup challenge has completely fallen apart. When I said that that bland pumpkin soup nearly shook my faith in Serious Eats’ list of favourite fall soups, I guess I spoke too soon. That, and I discovered SoupAddict.com. Since then, I have basically developed a sick internet crush on this person’s ability to showcase the best of what soup can be. I’m happily inferior—and full of soup.
The Rootcellar has had the most incredible mushroom varieties these last few weeks and some near prehistoric looking funghi reached out to me last Saturday. It was a sign from the universe that I needed to make SoupAddict’s Ancient Grains and Mushroom Soup. That and I am an absolute freak for mushrooms.
We used ½ a pound of deep brown, little cremini mushrooms and ¾ pound of mixed shitakes, chanterelles, and cauliflower mushrooms, in addition to a small bag of rehydrated porcini mushrooms.
My only variation in prep was that I thoroughly browned the mushrooms in the dry pan, after adding them to the mirepoix, rather than immediately adding mushroom stock. Mushrooms develop the most flavour when they can brown in a dry pan and release their own liquid and this did not disappoint. We also didn’t have any white miso but we did not miss it one bit. Ours turned out more red than the original recipe, but that’s probably because I used a bit more smoked paprika than originally called for and used beef broth instead of vegetable broth. Uh-mazing.
You miiiight want to give yourself a facial from the steam while this cooks.Then make uncontrollable mmmmm noises while eating it in front of five episodes straight of Breaking Bad. Just sayin, it worked for us.
Ancient Grains & Wild Mushroom Soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 generous servings
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons coconut or canola oil
1/2 cup millet
1/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 medium onion diced
1 medium carrot diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped (cremini, portabella, shiitakes, etc.)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon light miso (optional, but tasty)
2 teaspoons worchestershire sauce (or vegetarian substitute)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons mascarpone or greek yogurt (we used plain fat free greek yogurt)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup freshly grated parmesano reggiano cheese, for garnish
Rehydrate dried mushrooms by pouring one cup very hot water over them and allow to soak for 20-30 minutes
Heat coconut oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the millet and quinoa and allow to toast for several minutes. Add water and turn heat to high. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, then begin checking. When water is completely absorbed, remove from heat, fluff the grains and set aside.
In a 5 quart stock pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and saute until soft about 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove porcini mushroms from soaking water (reserve soaking water), rinse, pat dry and chop.
Add all mushrooms to onion mixture, plus a bit of the reserved mushroom stock. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mushrooms have released their liquids, about 10 minutes.
Return heat to medium, and stir in tomato paste, smoked paprika, miso and worcestershire sauce. Add vegetable stock, and allow to come to a good simmer.
Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. You’ll want the soup properly seasoned before adding the grains.
Optional: for a thicker soup, run an immersion blender briefly through the soup, leaving some mushroom pieces for a chunky texture.
Add the grains to the soup and turn heat to low.
Place mascarpone in a small bowl. Add a ladle of the hot soup and mix well — use a whisk if necessary — until smooth. Add to soup. Stir in parsley. Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.