Tuesday, November 16, 2010

shaggy mane soup

it’s shaggy mane mushroom season! they’re so common and i never knew they were edible (and tasty) until recently. i read that they don’t sauté well because they’re so fragile and have a high water content, so i decided to make soup.

note: shaggy manes have to be eaten the day you pick them because as they age they turn into yucky black goo. consult a mushroom guide book or search online for identification information. they’re easy to identify, and i’m pretty certain there aren’t any poisonous look-alikes. just don't drink any alcohol within a few hours of eating them because that can cause some freaky symptoms.

these mushrooms supposedly have the texture and a little bit of the taste of fish. that seems accurate to me, but i’m not the best person to assess what is and is not like fish since i haven’t eaten any in eight years. the mushrooms are definitely not fishy in a gross way, so don’t let that turn you off. they really are delicious.

i started with about three cups of water, about a tablespoon of “better than bouillon” vegetable base and one sliced carrot. once that came to a boil i added two handfuls of israeli couscous (pasta would work fine), three leaves of kale (stems removed, cut in strips) and five mushrooms. low boil until the couscous is nice and tender. then i added a handful of fresh parsley and some fresh thyme from the garden.

here’s a weird confession/disclaimer: i feel funny writing any kind of recipe for broth soup because i never learned how to make it. i mean, this type of soup has always come out of a can for me, which is silly because soup is so easy to make...it just seems difficult in my head. i don’t know when exactly to add different things so that all the components of the soup are cooked the right amount at the same time. but i’ve made this basic recipe three times now and it’s worked out every time.


Andrea said...

My husband might have a hard time with this soup because he always has to have a glass of wine with his dinner. :D

Shari said...

Looks really good. I LOVE "Better than Bouillon" vegetable soup base! I used it in a pot of cabbage soup last night -- it never fails me.

What kind of "freaky symptoms" are we talking about? I'm just curious.

Seglare said...

Looks like a great soup!

I used to see mane mushrooms all the time when I was a child (we used to call them "ink mushrooms" because of the cap). My mom would occasionally cook them - mostly because she'd told us they were edible and we insisted cooking the ones we picked - but my parents always considered this one somewhat inferior to "forest mushrooms" (chanterelle, porcini, and so on), so mostly we just played with them in the yard. I think our dolls and teddy bears did eat their share of these mushrooms, though! :D

I haven't seen many of these in the recent years, but if I do come across them again, I might just have to give your soup a try! :)

Jessica said...

Sweet! We found three gorgeous chanterelles the other day. Not many but enough to enjoy in our stew. We'll have to add these to the list of the ones we hunt for. I just looked them up, and it says that they grow all over the world. I wonder how many I passed the other day while looking for chanties.

Emily said...

andrea--hehe, yeah, he probably wouldn't want to try this then. maybe for lunch?

shari--i love that bouillon too, it's so easy and tasty. i came across mention of the freaky symptoms on only one site where a guy described swollen gums, shaking, etc. after having shaggy manes with wine. there's another inky cap mushroom, the alcohol inky cap, that's better known for causing symptoms after drinking. here's a description from wikipedia:

Symptoms include facial reddening, nausea, vomiting, malaise agitation, palpitations and tingling in limbs, and arise 5 to 10 minutes after consumption of alcohol.

i figure it's best to stay away from alcohol when eating any mushroom from that family--looking at those symptoms it's just not worth the risk.

selgare--haha, lucky teddy bears! i haven't tried enough of those forest mushrooms to make any kind of value judgment, but inferior or not, i'm not about passing up free wild food.

jessica--congrats on the chanterelles! i bet you did pass by a lot, they're very common. i know of three patches of them within walking distance of my house.