Friday, September 24, 2010

A Season for Forest Mushrooms



I mentioned in my first posts (for example, in the post about pickled ceps) that the flavor of forest mushrooms, both dried or fresh, is an essential ingredient of Polish cooking and this is one of my favorite ingredients in the kitchen. I already wrote about pickled ceps, Zrazy and potato pancakes with chanterelle sauce.

We are in the middle of the forest mushroom season here in Poland, so I could not hesitate to present some of our Polish style seasonal mushroom specialties. Poland is still relatively rich with forests and one can quite easily find in them edible and non edible mushrooms. This is also due to the quite humid climate. When I was a kid, we were spending each holiday in the mountains, and we dedicated a lot of time to “mushroom escapades”. Nowadays, when I visit Kraków, I buy them on local food markets, in particular on Kleparz – my favorite food market in town.
There are sellers who have a license for selling forest mushrooms. Remember that some of the poisoning ones may resemble some those edible ones. I know a bit about mushrooms, but besides the cèpes family and chanterelles, I do not buy any other types of forest mushrooms from individuals who do not have a sales permit.

A lot of people practice mushroom hunting in forests, and each year the media report some traumatic news about some adults and children (who would gives forest mushrooms to young children?!) being killed or heavily sick after eating, for example, a death cap (Amanita phalloides - in Polish "muchomor sromotnikowy"), taken by mistake for a parasol mushroom (Macrolepiota procera - in Polish "kania") (by the way, parasol mushrooms are delicious especially grilled).

So, if you ever visit Poland during the mushroom season, eat them and enjoy them, but buy them in places where they are thoroughly checked. For that part, restaurants are safe.

Let’s start this mushroom season with a Polish style soup, which is one of my favorites in that time of the year.
I used homemade, rich chicken broth for it, but feel free to use any other type of broth. This time, I blended part of the mushrooms as I wanted my soup to be a bit thicker than usual. I used Boletus badius (in Polish - "podgrzybek brunatny"), which is very popular in Poland (although some chefs do not appreciate them), and Leccinum (in Polish - "kozak", "koźlarz"; growing in Europe and in North America) - both from the boletus family. You can use cèpes, of course, but they are much more expensive.









Polish Style Forest Mushroom Soup 


Ingredients
Serves 4-6
500 g boletus badius
500 g leccinum mushrooms
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1.5 l homemade chicken broth
4 tablespoons clarified butter
100 ml heavy cream
Fresh chopped dill or parsley for sprinkling
Salt
Pepper

Delicately clean mushrooms from leftovers of the forest. Scratch the stems to remove soil. Rinse the mushrooms delicately under cold water. Separate bigger stipes (mushroom stalks) from caps. Cut caps into thin slices. Put the stalks aside.
In a hot frying pan, heat butter, add onions and fry over medium heat around 10 minutes, mixing often. Do not let the onions burn. Add mushroom caps in the frying pan and sauté them until they release their juices and absorb them back in. Salt and pepper and put aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the chicken broth, add mushroom stalks and cook for about 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are completely soft. Strain the broth, reserve it, but discard stalks (you can use the stalks for the soup if you like, but stalks of my big mushrooms were spongy and soft this time).

Add mushroom caps with onions into the broth. Cook for another 10 minutes, until the juices mix well. Pour one half of the soup into a blender and reduce it to purée and add it back to the remaining half of the soup (you should still see mushroom pieces in the soup). Pour a bit of the soup into a cup, add cream, mix well and add to the soup. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve hot, sprinkled with fresh, chopped herbs (I used Polish dill).

The soup goes very well with noodles.

And finally to close this post: some time ago I was invited by Polish bloggers to list 10 things that I like, so let’s go for it! Thanks a lot guys for your invitation!

  • Swimming relaxes me and in the summer time I try to swim as much as possible, meaning a few times per week;
  • I like to watch documentaries and read reportages, in particular shot in other parts of the World;
  • Taking long walks releases my mind;
  • Showing the World to our daughter makes me happy;
  • I like to cook with my husband;
  • Laying down with a book at the end of the day is what I also like;
  • To be close to nature, to just watch it and think about nothing;
  • I love to drive a car and travel by train, in particular on long distances;
  • I like to listen to the music, although my music taste has changed over the years (I am getting older);
  • I like to work on things that I like.

22 comments:

foodtravelandwine said...

What a wonderful combination of flavours!.....I love this kind of dish!!......Abrazotes, Marcela

Karolina said...

Could you please appreciate that some people love forest mushrooms and cannot buy them where they live? And cannot even pick them from a forest because they are not sure if the mushrooms they’ve seen are edible? Could you please shoot me now? ;))))))))))))))))))))))))

When next time in Poland I will ask my Mum or Granny to make me a mushroom soup. A big pan!

Emily Malloy said...

That is one BEAUTIFUL soup! Yum!

Bareya said...

Słabo mi idzie czytanie po angielsku ale jedno powiem. Kolor tej zupy jest zupełnie bezbłędny. Coś pięknego.
pozdrawiam

miss_coco said...

Magda, a moze na grzyby do mnie przyjedziesz ?
Co prawda grzybow nie musze kupowac, ale podobaja mi sie ceny tych grzybow, ktore pokazujesz ;)) tutaj wlasciwie identyczne tylko nie w tej walucie ;))
Zastanawialam sie dzisiaj co bym pokazala na eliminacjach do master chefa (to takie gdybania oczywiscie, ale moze ogladasz?) i mysle, ze to musialoby byc cos z grzybami... Twoj blog bylby na pewno inspiracja ;) Pozdrowienia no i pomysl o tych grzybach ;)

Patty said...

Mushrooms from the forest sounds so appealing, I would love some of your soup. The mushrooms in season at the market look so fresh and good. Very nice that you take advantage of the bounty all around you and share with the rest of us, thanks;)

lashqueen (italia) said...
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lashqueen (italia) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lashqueen (italia) said...
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lashqueen (italia) said...

Rzeczywiście ceny grzybów nie są wysokie. Mam wielką ochotę powłóczyć się po lasach za grzybami.
Zupa wygląda niesamowicie. No ale ja lubię grzyby i jestem nieobiektywna.
Wpadłam tylko na chwilę, później zajrzę jeszcze raz, by przeczytać wszystko dokładnie. Teraz mam problem z koncentracją i mam problem z poprawnym napisaniem komentarza :) Pozdrawiam!

Bea said...

I ja grzyby bardzo lubie, choc przyznaje, ze jemy je dosyc rzadko. I zupa i placki z sosem kurkowym barrrdzo do mnie przemawiaja :)
A jako, ze na grzybach sie nie znam, to z przyjemnoscia poczytalam sobie o boletus badius i leccinum mushrooms :)

Pozdrawiam Magdaleno!

Szalony Kucharz said...

Funny how the English language has no common names for the varieties of mushrooms that we Poles (and other Slavic nations as well) take for granted. A mushroom almost always denotes a champignon, that whitish greyish something that true mushroom lovers don't value much, because they are not wild but farmed, on livestock manure to boot...

So how can I, a Polish expat in the English-speaking world, comment on your post, full of delicacies that cost absolutely nothing to anyone who is patient enough to go to their nerby forest for a few hours of mushroom-hunting? Damn you, Ireland, island of golf courses, paddocks, horse-racing tracks, pastures and shrubs for forests! ;o)

BIg Boys Oven said...

reading this post had enhance my knowlegde about mushroom and the variety! amazing and the creation is truly lovely! enjoyed juct by reading! delicious indeed! ;)

tasteofbeirut said...

I love mushroom soup especially one with such clean flavors!

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

This soup looks lovely! I recently took a class on foraging for local mushrooms here in New England. I might try to substiute in some of these local mushroom finds for the ones you use here.

Krzysztof said...

Magdalena, many congratulations on your wild mushroom bonanza from the real shroom lover ! Your post should be much more elaborate since the role wild mushrooms play in Polish cuisine is so great. Italian porcini cannot compete with ours !
And for Katie@Cozydelicious: I used to collect mushrooms in American forests, also in New England (CT, VT, Upstate New York). You have there all of the species that occur in Poland and they taste pretty much same delicioso !

Magdalena said...

In Polish:

Bareya, dzieki za wizyte na blogu i docenienie „szmacianego” koloru zupy, he he !

Miss_coco, pewnie, ze przyjade. Widzialam te Twoje cuda belgijskie na blogu. Master chefa nie ogladam, bo w ogole nie ogladam tu tv (zepsula sie antena i nie ma jej kto naprawic...). Ale mysle, ze grzyby sie nadaja jak najbardziej choc sa tacy, co grzybow nie lubia (mozesz uwierzyc ?) Pozdrawiam!

Lashqueen tez lubie grzyby i rowniez jestem nieobiektywna....chyba juz niedlugo sie bedziemy nimi cieszyc. Bardzo sie oziebilo, maja byc przymrozki dzisiaj.

Beo, ja to sie troche znam na tych najbardziej popularnych – prawdziwkach, kurkach i rydzach. Jeszcze podgrzybkach i kozakach. Poza tym kipeska ze mnie grzybiara. Rowniez pozdrawiam.

Magdalena said...

Karolina, but you have cheap lamb! All in all, you cannot have everything :)

Marcela: thanks for stopping by. If you visit Poland one day, I’ll make it for you (if I will be here);

Emily, Patty, Joumana, thanks.

Kucharz, yes, that is true. I am even not quite sure whether the English names in my post are right; and general term “mushroom” or “champignon” is so misleading!

BigBoysOven, if you could know other forest mushrooms that grow here ! Thanks for stopping by !

Katie, share what local mushrooms you have there in New England. Did you read the comment written by Krzysztof just below yours?

Krzysztof: if I could have more time to write elaborates...

Anonymous said...

Witaj koleżanko Emigrantko!
Zupka ze świeżych grzybów bardzo apetyczna i na pewno pyszna. Spróbuj kiedyś ugotować trochę inaczej, bez bulionu drobiowego. Moim zdaniem dużo lepsza, dużo masła tylko trzeba, cebuli i obowiązkowo zielona pietruszka. Ot coś takiego:
http://fotoforum.gazeta.pl/72,2,777,101252717,101252717.html
Ale wersji oczywiście jest wiele.
A grzybów w tym roku mnóstwo! Akurat złapałem kilka dni wolnego podczas wysypu i nazbierałem moc. Suszonych pewnie mi na trzy lata wystarczy :0)
Jeszcze prywata. Czy byś nie mogła prowadzić wersji blogu dla anglojęzycznych inaczej? Lubię tu do Ciebie zajrzeć, a z językiem u mnie krucho :0( Nie chciało się za młodu uczyć, a teraz leń w człowieku siedzi i łeb już stary i deczko przepity :0)
Pozdrawiam, Rafał.

Magdalena said...

Hej Rafale! Milo Cie tu u mnie widziec. Jezeli dostane jutro grzyby lesne na Kleparzu, to ugotuje wersje Twoja, jak radzisz...tylko zimno sie zrobilo i boje sie, ze moze byc juz po sezonie....zobaczymy jutro i dam Ci znac.
A jezeli chodzi o wersje polska, to ciagle z kolejnym postem obiecuje sobie, ze bede wrzucac przepisy w dwoch jezykach...tylko niestety ostatnio jestem bardzo zapracowana i ledwo wyrabiam z angielska wersja bloga...mam jednak Twoja uwage na uwadze, ze sie wyraze. Pozdrawaim :)

Magdalena said...

Hej Rafale! Milo Cie tu u mnie widziec. Jezeli dostane jutro grzyby lesne na Kleparzu, to ugotuje wersje Twoja, jak radzisz...tylko zimno sie zrobilo i boje sie, ze moze byc juz po sezonie....zobaczymy jutro i dam Ci znac.
A jezeli chodzi o wersje polska, to ciagle z kolejnym postem obiecuje sobie, ze bede wrzucac przepisy w dwoch jezykach...tylko niestety ostatnio jestem bardzo zapracowana i ledwo wyrabiam z angielska wersja bloga...mam jednak Twoja uwage na uwadze, ze sie wyraze. Pozdrawaim :)

Pille said...

I always feel funny when blogging about wild mushrooms. They're popular in Estonia and we eat many of them. Many of them are considered a real delicacy (some after proper blanching and boiling first), but in "Western" sources are called inedible.
They don't know what they'll miss ;)

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