I made this soup on a quiet Saturday. It was cold and rainy to start the day, and turned to fairly heavy snow. Then it took a turn to bright sunshine with lovely snow resting on the tree branches, melted as a river flows.
I had some lovely super fresh crimini mushrooms, and the thought of warming spices and some greens. As I made the soup I thought of the spring foraging and chanterelles, which my Aunt Sally was so famous for canning in Southern Oregon.
One could also add portobellos and shitake with ease. Additionally, one could use miso to add umami flavour, and a grain for more heft. The recipe calls for pureeing the soup, but I left it brothy with the lovely floating spinach and the sweet browned caramelized mushrooms. I did serve yogurt on the side, but not too many folks went for it. If I had chives on hand, I would have used them as a side.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds mixed mushrooms (such as cremini, oyster, chanterelles, shiitake), chopped
- 1/2 pound shallots, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground allspice
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- fresh lime juice, to taste
- plain yogurt, for serving (optional)
- Heat 3 tablespoons butter or oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and half the shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are well browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and repeat with remaining butter, mushrooms, and shallots.
- Return all mushrooms to the pot and stir in tomato paste, thyme, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in 5 cups of water, with salt and black pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook gently for 20 minutes. Stir in baby spinach and let cook until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender or food processor, coarsely purée soup (optional). Mix in lime juice. Thin with water, as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve with dollops of yogurt if you like.