Hungarian Chanterelle Mushroom Soup
If porcini is the king of mushrooms, then the more delicate chanterelle is the queen. In the local market I have only seen (dried) chanterelles as part of a forest mix, but despair not as dried porcini or shiitake can work well. Those of you heading to temperate climes for the summer will of course have access to chanterelles and maybe stock up on some dried for the new Q8 season in September. My first encounter of chanterelles nearly forty years ago was in Poland where I bought some at the roadside from a little old lady who clearly had picked them in the morning; cooked with cream they were still memorable to this day.
Vegetarians will naturally use a vegetable stock. In homage to the gulyás (herdsmen) of the Hungarian Puszta, I used beef stock, but can see chicken stock working as well. Á chacun son gout, to be as French as the roux and velouté one will proceed to make. As this is a hearty soup worthy of the herdsmen, I have bulked out the soup with mixed fresh mushrooms to give it body.
For the velouté
1 litre stock
50 g. butter
2 tbs. flour
For the soup
50 – 60 g. dried mushrooms
500 g. fresh mushroom mix finely cut
3 – 4 chopped cloves garlic
2 minced shallots or 1 medium brown onion finely cut
100 g. butter
2 x 225 ml. bottles of ayran (Baladé farms) or cream, though I love the sour hint of the ayran.
½ tsp. saffron
1 tsp. paprika
Parsley for garnish
In advance soak the dried mushrooms in two containers for at least 2 hrs. I like to do this well in advance as not only I want the mushroom plumped up, but also for the very intense liquid. At the same time one can soak the saffron.
First we start with the velouté. Heat the stock to a bare simmer and in another pot, heat the butter until frothing and stir in the flour. Keep stirring and let this cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Do NOT let it brown! Whisk the stock into the roux and let this simmer for 20 minutes, frequently stirring. You want it to reduce by about 1/4 and be silky looking.
While the velouté is doing its bit, heat the butter and throw in your shallots or onions and fry until translucent, then add the mushroom and garlic including half the soaked, dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add salt and pepper and keep stirring on medium to high heat until the mushroom has given up its liquid. Add the saffron (and liquid) and the velouté. Taking the saucepan off the heat, purée the mixture with a stick blender.
When the mixture is nice and smooth, return to a low to medium heat, adding the ayran and paprika and the remaining soaked mushrooms with the remaining mushroom liquid, stir until everything is blended and simmer for twenty minutes. Ideally you should have a smooth, slightly heavy liquid. i.e. not a bouillon.
Check seasoning in case it needs adjusting. Stir in a pat of butter to give the soup a shine, garnish and serve.