Morels are here!

Despite this morning’s cool temps (perhaps even a light frost?), I came upon an unexpected treasure on my hike after work today.

Morels!

Morchella esculenta  (FYI:  These 14 mushrooms weigh 9.6 oz.)

I may be inspired to cook!


Cream of Mushroom Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter, divided use
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

PREPARATION:

Clean mushrooms with a mushroom brush or damp paper towel. Cut half of the mushrooms into slices. Chop the remainder.

Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan and saute sliced mushrooms until golden. Remove and reserve sliced mushrooms. Add remaining butter to the same pan, along with the chopped mushrooms and sweet onions. Sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft.

Return sliced mushrooms to the pan. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly about 2 minutes, until smooth. Slowly add chicken broth while stirring. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened. Add nutmeg and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if need be.

Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. (Do not boil.) Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.

Yield: 2 entree servings or 4 smaller appetizer servings


If you give this recipe a try, let me know how it turns out for you.

If that recipe doesn’t get you motivated to go collect some of these delectable “fruits” of the forest, then perhaps these will –

19 Morel Mushroom Recipes

Morel Mushrooms (Food & Wine)

Chicken with Morels (Ina Garten)

Morel Recipes (Martha Stewart)

Celebrate Morel Season, 16 Recipes (New York Times)

Sautéed Morel Mushrooms

How to Clean and Cook Morel Mushrooms

FYI:  A great reference book to help you identify mushrooms is Mushrooms of North America by Orson K. Miller, Jr.

This book contains nearly 300 color photos of fungi along with detailed descriptions of each and a pictorial key to help you identify the particular species you find.

Happy trails!

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