Saturday, March 15, 2014


Making herb blends is something I like to do and one of the ones I like the most is made with powdered dried mushrooms.  It's hard to find anything but dried shitakes around here so I shopped on line for a full one pound bag of dried Oyster Mushrooms.    I also ordered 8 oz. of dried Portabellas. 

Most of the dried mushrooms I buy get made into a powder using my spice grinder.  I keep a jar full of the powdered mushrooms on the shelf all the time.  I use it in all kinds of dishes: soups, meatloaf, eggs, salad dressings, and it's great on beef or chicken for roasting or coating veggies to roast.  The dried Oyster Mushrooms were delivered on Friday so I wanted to use some right away.  My first thought was mushroom soup.
Using dried mushrooms versus fresh makes for a much richer mushroom flavor.  The instructions on the package suggested rehydrating in boiling water for 15 - 20 minutes and at least 25 minutes of cooking time. My niece suggested soaking them overnight.  I'll try that next time. When I chopped my rehydrated mushrooms, I think I should have cut them smaller - small enough where you feel like you don't need to chew them.  They were a little tough but I must say I kind of enjoyed the chewiness.  They were kind of meaty.  So I decided that the recipe I provide will give you the option to puree the mushrooms for a silkier soup.  I didn't puree the mushrooms, but I think next time I will try it that way.  Then I'll sauté some sliced button mushrooms to add.
Here's the recipe.  Reading over the ingredients, I'd say this is a very healthy soup!

2 oz. dried oyster mushrooms (about 1 c) (any kind of dried mushroom will do)
2 c. boiling water
1 T. dried shallots (or use 1 small fresh shallot diced finely)
1 T. Maggalicious Mushroom and Herb Powder *
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. sea salt (or to taste)
2 c. beef stock (or water or vegetable stock can be used)
2 c. water
2/3 c cream or half and half, or fat free evaporated milk + 2T butter (I used the latter)
2 T rice flour (or regular)
2 - 3 T fresh chopped parsley (for garnish)
Sautéed sliced mushrooms (optional for garnish)

In a medium bowl, add the dried mushrooms and cover with boiling water.
Let stand for 15 - 20 minutes.
Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, place in colander and rinse and drain well.
Pour the rehydration liquid from the mushrooms through a coffee filter or paper towel and add to a small soup pot.
Add the dried shallots, dried thyme, Maggaliscious Herb Mix* water and beef stock to the soup pot.
Set heat at medium low and let simmer.
Meanwhile chop all the rinsed and drained rehydrated mushrooms into very small pieces and add to the pot.

Let simmer for 30 minutes. **
Turn heat to medium.
Add the flour to a little water and mix well, pour into the pot. 
Let this come to a bubble to help thicken the soup a little.
Add the milk or cream and the butter if you are using fat free evaporated milk.
Let this simmer for at least 30 minutes.

** There are a couple of options here.  If you want the soup to be somewhat chunky
with mushrooms, leave it like it is.  Rehydrated mushrooms have a tendency to stay a little chewy though. If you want it to be silkier, use your stick blender, or your kitchen blender to puree most of the mushrooms in the soup.  Then you can always slice and sauté some button mushrooms to add to the soup.

*Maggalicious Dried Mushroom and Herb Seasoning Mix is a blend I mixed myself.  It contains powdered dried shitake mushrooms, dried basil, dried oregano, dried onions and dried  garlic, all blended together. So just add a few extra pinches of these herbs and spices to your soup.  If you are interested in a jar, let me know.  I also have blend for a pizza seasoning, and several flavored powdered sea salt blends.

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