Homemade soups, like wild Puffball mushroom soup with either an omnivore or vegetarian stock option, are known to cure the worst cold or the winter blues.
The keys to successful stock making
I believe that every great soup needs a good foundation and this begins with the stock.
Meat Stock for Wild Puffball Mushroom Soup
Reserve the bones
It’s typical for people to make stock from leftover turkey, but chicken, lamb and beef bones all make a delicious foundation for soups, stews and even Risotto. Furthermore, shrimp, crab and lobster shells can be reserved from the compost. Just remove excess fat and freeze bones or seafood shells until you have time to make stock.
Structure with Seasonings
When I am making stock, I use just enough water to cover the bones or shells in a heavy bottomed, stainless stock pot. For flavour add black peppercorns, a handful of chopped carrots and celery stalk with leaf and a couple of Bay leaves. Don’t add salt now because it’s probably part of the previous dish.
Skimming is Crucial
Especially relevant to meat stock flavour and clarity is dedicated scum skimming. In the first ten minutes, while the stock simmers, I continually skim scum using a Pampered Paws stainless skimmer.
Reduction is deliberate
Reduction of the liquid is responsible for the intensity of the flavour. Occasionally stir the simmering pot, but don’t let it boil, until the liquid is reduced by half to two thirds.
Finally, I cool, strain and usually freeze all stock. Unless you are using it right away for Turkey soup, I would use your fresh within the week.
Vegetarian Stock for Wild Puffball Mushroom Soup
Because Little Miss M is a vegetarian I used veggie stock in today’s recipe. My vegetarian stock is made the same way, but substituting a robust mix of dried re-hydrated mushrooms for bones or shells. Since the Puffball Mushroom was fresh and because they are mild in flavour and pale in colour, I find that a little Sherry or red wine almost always improves vegetarian stock.
Not just for soups, I’ve used this vegetarian stock to make an mushroom champagne Risotto. Also the absence of animal protein in vegetable stocks means no skimming because there is no scum.
Finding Wild Mushrooms
My mountain man husband guided me to harvest many wild mushrooms in the past. Consequently on my solo day I stumbled over a Giant Puffball which was easily recognizable as an edible mushroom. I took it home greedily.
- One Giant Puffball
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1 Medium to Large Sweet Onion
- 6 Cloves Garlic Pressed or Minced
- 6 Cups of Chicken or Vegetarian Stock
- 1/2 Cup White Wine
- Hot Pepper
- Peel and Puffball and Discard
- Chop the Onion and Saute in Butter
- Add Chopped Puffball and Garlic
- Saute till Golden
- Add Stock and Wine Simmer
- Adjust to Taste with Salt, Pepper and Optional Hot Pepper
- I like it chunky, but alternatively you can cool and puree this soup.
From the top the dishes are:
Easy Weeknight Turkey Chili @ Mommydo
Grape Jelly Meatballs @ The Inspired Home
Puffball Mushroom Soup @ OffThePorch.ca
Creamy Curry Meat Soup @ Allergy Girl Eats
Moong Dal (Indian Lentil Soup) @ Maple and Marigold
Chicken Pot Pie @ Red Cottage Chronicles
Pumpkin Molasses Muffins @ Everyday Allergen Free