I was so excited about our wild mushroom walk that I went home and made a wild mushroom soup (from fungi purchased at the market of course). I didn't use a specific recipe but was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it turned out nonetheless. Unlike other dishes, I rarely follow recipes when it comes to making soups because the way I see it, as long as you use enough flavor components, chances are the end result will be tasty no matter what you decide to throw into the pot. In fact I like to imagine that the first soups were invented so that the farmer could stretch and use up whatever leftover food was lying around. How else to explain the fact that you can name almost any ingredient - say cabbage, for instance - and find a soup recipe calling for it.
On this occasion I decided to use fresh shitake, oyster and button mushrooms and dried porcini and wood ear mushrooms. I soaked the dried mushrooms in some warm water, and then when they were plump, strained the flavorful liquid through a coffee filter. I began by sauteing a good amount of chopped onions, shallots, garlic and thyme in some olive oil. Then I added all of the mushrooms, which I had sliced. As they released their liquid, I deglazed the pan with some dry white wine and then added several cups of chicken stock. In a separate pan, I made a light brown rue using equal parts flour and homemade butter, into which I vigorously whisked in some chicken stock and the reversed mushroom liquid until I had something that resembled a thick gravy. This was then added to the soup, stirring as you do so. (Incorporating the rue in this way helps to prevent lumps.)
I let the soup simmer for about a half hour and then seasoned it with some salt, pepper and sugar. Sugar, like salt, is a great flavor enhancer. Adding a teaspoon or two into the pot greatly enhances an otherwise "flat" tasting soup broth. Finally, I finished the soup with a bit of local cream before serving.
This soup was deliciously earthy and really satisfied this mushroom lover.