Wild Mushroom Bisque
I came home from spending two weeks over the Christmas holidays in Poland, where as most do at this time of year, we ate, drank and enjoyed the merriment of the season. As a big fan of Polish cuisine in general I have a special fondness for the vast variety of soups on offer. From borscht, a broth of beetroot to zurek, a sour rye soup with sausage and hard boiled eggs, there are so many to choose. One of my favorites is more traditionally seen on the table in the winter season, zupa grzybowa, mushroom soup. Made with wild mushrooms and a large dollop of sour cream this soup is rustic, rich, and delectably satisfying.
During one of the many family meals we ate my mother-in-law brought a large 5 liter jar full of dried mushrooms from the kitchen. I was amazed when said this amazing assortment was once 10 kilos (22 pounds) of fresh mushrooms.
As the of our departure came, it was time to start packing for home and that’s when I noticed a large sack of dried mushrooms on the dining room table. I didn’t want to be too forward and just pack them away, these earthly delights, so I waited to see if they were in fact for me, and sure enough they were. And so you have it, what is traditionally served on Christmas Eve can be enjoyed all year through with the addition of other season mushrooms you find in the market.
1/2 small Onion, minced
1 Shallot, minced
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup Dried Polish Borowik Mushrooms, or any dried wild mushrooms
1 cup Button Mushrooms, chopped
1 cup Oyster Mushrooms, chopped
1 cup Shitake Mushrooms, chopped
5 1/2 cup Vegetable Stock
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped fine
1 tbsp Fresh Chives, chopped
1/2 tsp White Pepper
1 tsp Sea Salt, add more to taste
Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of warm vegetable stock. Soak for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the mushrooms are softened and pliable.
Coarsely chop the fresh mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, shallot and garlic clove sauté for 4-5 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the chopped fresh mushrooms and sauté for another 15 minutes. Season with rosemary, chives, white pepper and salt.
Add the wild mushrooms and soaking liquid to the pot in addition to 3 1/3 cups of the remaining vegetable stock. Bring to a low boil for 10 minutes. Temper the Greek yogurt before adding to the soup by ladling 1/2 cup of hot stock into a bowl with the Greek yogurt then combine this with the larger pot of soup stirring continuously.
Remove from heat and puree with an inversion blender or standing blend to desired consistency. Taste, adding more salt and pepper if desired.
Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or white sesame seeds and chopped herbs.