Jul 18, 2009
Chanterelle season in Latvia starts around early July, and we’ve been cooking a lot of them lately. The simplest way to cook these wonderful, aromatic mushrooms is just sauté them until golden brown, adding some finely chopped onions and seasoning with fresh dill. Or sauté them with a couple of tablespoons of sour cream, until they turn into a soft and mild sauce.
Chanterelle soup is not as rich in flavour as, say, porcini or even champignon soup. But it very summery, translucent and subtly infused with notes of fresh garlic. And it is quick and very easy!
1 litre chanterelles
4 medium-sized potatoes
1/4 cup pot barley
2 medium-sized onions
Fresh parsley or dill leaves
6 tbsp sour cream
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Leave the pot barley to steep in cold water 30 minutes prior to cooking. If you are really in a rush or starving to death, you can use oatmeals instead, as they don’t need to be steeped. In all other cases, use pot barley, as it leaves the broth clear and transparent.
Rinse and chop the chanterelles if they are large in size (we had a litre of really tiny ones), place the mushrooms into a medium-sized skillet, add butter, season with a pinch of salt and sauté on medium heat until golden-brown and soft. Mushrooms contain a lot of water, so do not close the lid and let the liquid evaporate. You will see that there will be a lot of water at first, but by the end of cooking it will evaporate completely.
In a separate small skillet, fry the finely chopped onions in heated olive oil, adding salt to your taste. Fried onions should be golden-brown, not dark brown :)
While the mushrooms and onions are frying, cut potatoes in large pieces. In a saucepan, bring to a boil 2 litres water, add salt and put the potatoes into boiling water.
Remember we still have that pot barley soaking in water? Now it’s time you add it to the potatoes (without the water it’s been steeped in, of course). Close the lid and keep the soup boiling on a medium heat.
The mushrooms and onions should be ready by now. Place the fried onions in a small bowl: we will need them later.
Once the potatoes are half-ready, that is you can poke them with a fork, but they are still pretty hard inside, add the mushrooms. Close the lid again and cook on a medium heat until ready - i.e. the potatoes are soft.
When you are about to take the saucepan off the heat, add crushed garlic into the soup. Don’t add it while the soup is cooking - it’s okay to add it in the very end and let the soup infuse for a couple of minutes.
Serve with finely chopped parsley or dill leaves, fried onions (a tablespoon or two for each serving), and sour cream.
Sour cream is a very important ingredient of Russian cuisine. It is called Smetana in Russian and is added to almost every soup for a sour and tender flavour. Smetana is usually at least 25% fat.
Print This Post