Wild Mushroom Soup
1/2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms
1/4 lb chanterelle mushrooms, or oyster mushrooms
1 qt Everyday Chicken Broth (recipe)
1/4 lb button mushrooms
1/4 cup corn oil, or olive oil
2 ea shallots, minced
1 tbsp fresh gingerroot, peeled, grated
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
1 ea scallions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp lemon grass, finely chopped
1 tbsp white vinegar
coarse salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl. Add enough lukewarm water to cover them by 1-inch. Soak for 30 minutes, or until softened. Remove the mushrooms from the water; squeeze dry. Discard the water. Remove and discard the stems. Thinly slice the mushroom caps; set aside.
2 Use a damp cloth to wipe clean all of the fresh mushrooms, keeping the button mushrooms separate. Remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms only and discard. Cut all mushrooms into thin slices.
3 Heat half of the oil in a large stock pot. Add the shallots and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the gingerroot and the dried and button mushrooms and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 3 minutes.
4 Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, and white pepper to the stock pot. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and stir into the soup.
5 Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
6 While the soup is cooking, heat the remaining oil in a small skillet. Add the sliced fresh shiitake and oyster or chanterelle mushrooms and cook over high heat until soft, about 2 minutes. Keep warm until ready to use.
7 Add the scallion, lemon grass, and vinegar to the soup. Taste to adjust the seasonings. Divide the saut,ed mushrooms among warm soup bowls and ladle the soup on top. Garnish with additional scallions or chives.Notes
Heavy cream would overwhelm the delicate mushroom essence of this soup; the coconut milk add richness but does not dominate.