Sunday, September 21, 2014

Food From The Forest: Cep Mushroom Cream Soup

Lime or Lemon & Co mushroom picking in Estonia ... Oh look, there is more...and there...Look what I found ... Is it edible?
September is mushroom season in Estonia. One can call this season a nationwide mushroom marathon. If in other years true enthusiasts were into the mushroom picking sport, this year, being a super generous cep year in some places, even two of my friends who I have never seen go mushroom picking put on their rubber boots, grabbed a beaming pink bucket and set their steps on a forest path with us. The cool thing was that after an hour the buckets were full with more than usual ceps among the bounty.

Oh well, cleaning the mushrooms is less enjoyable than wondering around the forest finding something at every step ... but necessary
Everyone is posting pictures on Facebook of the mushrooms they have picked or selfies from trips to the forest. A popular TV morning show dedicated a week on mushroom recipes in the cooking section. Some shops have run out of vinegar for a short while as people are marinating the mushrooms for winter in vast quantities.
Job done, stretching the to the kitchen

Like every year some incidents of people getting lost in the forest or someone having a mushroom poisoning have made it to the news headlines. Fortunately most of the time people enjoy an energizing walk in the fresh air and the joy of a delicious meal of fresh mushrooms is well worth the effort.

Lime Or Lemon´s mushroom crew was happy to find more than usual ceps  (puravikud)
Cep mushrooms are known as a sort of the king or queen of the mushroom world for their luxurious taste and because they are rather rare to find. Cep mushrooms are known as 'porcini' in Italian. In Germany you'd be eating Steinpilze. The Latin name is Boletus edulis. In Estonia you can buy them on the farmers' market under the name of 'puravikud'  for 15-20 Euros a kilo or best of all you can go to the forest and pick some yourself.

Lime Or Lemon´s cep mushroom cream soup

Cep mushroom cream soup
Ingredients for 2 large portions or 4 small ones:
400g cep mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 medium potato (100g), cut into small (1cm/0.5in) cubes
0.75l vegetable or mushroom stock
1dl fresh cream (10-15% fat)
salt and pepper
1-2 gloves garlic, thinly chopped
1-2 tbsp rape or sunflower oil

100g chorizo, cut into small cubes

Place the chopped mushrooms with a tablespoonful of oil into a pan on medium heat and cook until the water comes out of the mushrooms. When most of the the water has evaporated take out a spoonful of chopped mushrooms for each portion you plan to serve.

Add the stock and the potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft.

Puree with a mixer until smooth. Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste.

Add texture to the cream soup with garlicky chopped ceps

 For a vegetarian version heat a spoonful of oil in a pan. Cook the chopped garlic and the chopped mushrooms for a few minutes. Serve on top of the soup to add a bit a texture.

For a slightly meaty version cook the chorizo cubes in a pan until the fat starts to melt, add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Serve on the soup.

Spicy chorizo with garlic adding meaty flavour to the mushroom soup

More Food from the Forest:
Mushroom Schnitzel
Mushroom salad, chanterelle soup, mushroom burgers