Fresh Chanterelle Mushroom Soup
The woods here are different. Where I grew up the trees are skinny and have hard wood. The twigs snap crisp as you walk through the often snow covered ground. When I walk through the woods here in the Pacific Northwest the ground is quiet, softening the sound of each step. The leaves of my childhood are replaced by moss and moist conifer needles. The deceased evergreens of yesteryear lay across the forest slowly crumbling into the forest floor, while the current generation holds a high canopy filtering the sunlight in shades of green.
In this green light I learn how to find a new food in the woods. Hunting in the woods of my childhood meant deer or birds. I walk through the trees near my new home, I am hunting for mushrooms and the Chanterelle is my favorite. Around here many of the foragers prefer the King Bolete, Morel or Masutake, but I find the Chanterelle to be a delight to hunt and eat.
Here is a recipe for a soup that brings the flavor of fall to our home each year.
1 lb Fresh Chanterelle Mushrooms, cut into large pieces
1 large Yellow Onion, small dice
3 cloves of Garlic, cut into thin slices
1 Quart of flavorful broth, chicken or vegetable is best
Fresh Thyme, picked leaves
Place the onions in a large pot and season with salt then drizzle with olive oil and cook covered on medium until soft and translucent.
Remove cover and add garlic and mushrooms and increase heat to medium high. The mushrooms will release their juices and cook in them.
Cook until juices have been reduced and mixture is almost dry.
Add broth and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Transfer soup to blender and (CAREFULLY) blend on high speed for twice as long as you think you should.
Adjust seasoning. A touch of lemon juice or vinegar may be needed to lighten the flavor and a touch of cream may be added if you are into that sort of thing.
Serve directly into dishes and garnish with a drizzle of good olive oil and fresh thyme leaves.