Try working with mushrooms outside of the cream soup world (Campbell’s has left us all very unimaginative these days with the poor fungi) and highlight their earthiness by warming them in a fragrant ginger broth that can brighten up a rainy day or two.
8 cups (2 L) water
2 x 5 cm pieces ginger root, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs (15 mL) soy sauce
1 Tbs (15 mL) oyster sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) fish sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) rice wine vinegar
Honey-pickled oyster mushrooms:
2 cups (480 mL) white vinegar
1 cup (240 mL) water
2 Tbs (30 mL) honey
1 Tbs salt
8 Szechuan peppercorns
2 cups oyster mushrooms, separated
12 brown mushrooms, quartered
12 shiitake mushrooms, halved and 5 mm sliced
2 Tbs (30 mL) sesame oil
1 Tbs (15 mL) canola oil
To taste, salt and pepper
- Place all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Reduce to low heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Discard ginger root and cinnamon, cover and keep hot on the stove.
- Combine first five ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Let simmer for one minute. Place oyster mushrooms into a heat-safe bowl and pour boiling mixture overtop. Let sit for 10 minutes and then place in the refrigerator. Let sit in pickling liquid for at least 30 minutes before using in soup.
- Note: Pickled mushrooms will keep for up to 5 days and strengthen in flavour during that time.
- Preheat oven to 425º F. Place prepared mushrooms into a large baking dish. Whisk sesame oil and canola oil together and drizzle overtop. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and let roast in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before assembling soup.
- Place even portions of roasted mushrooms into four bowls. Add several strips of pickled oyster mushrooms to each and top with hot broth.