A good, simple wild mushroom chowder recipe is a reader request I finally got around to posting. It comes together in just under an hour, and is a good way to use some fresh or dried wild mushrooms for a solid bowl of comfort food.
Using light-colored mushrooms
You can make this with just about any mushroom, but there's something really special about with light-colored mushrooms that don't produce a dark juice.
Yellowfoot chanterelles love simple soups like this, and it's a great way to show them off.
This can highlight the light color of a few particular wild mushrooms. For cultivated mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms work well, as do regular oyster mushrooms. Here's some wild species to consider. I really like it made with young chicken of the woods mushrooms.
Vegetarian Mushroom Chowder
It's easy to make this vegetarian. Omit the bacon and use ghee and substitute light vegetable stock for chicken stock. If you want to make it vegan, you'll need to use coconut milk for the cream too.
A fresh batch of mushroom chowder.
Wild Mushroom Chowder with Leeks and Bacon
- 1 3 quart soup pot or large Dutch oven
- 6 oz bacon optional sliced into ½ inch strips
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 12 oz fresh wild or cultivated mushrooms *see note
- 8 oz Yukon gold potatoes diced ½ inch 2 cups
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 oz 1 small finely chopped onion
- 4 oz 1 rib celery trimmed and diced ½ inch
- 3 oz 1 small leek
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 cups light colored chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons crumbled dried mushrooms such as porcini (optional-*see note below)
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Fresh chopped herbs especially chives dill, or tarragon
- Wedges of fresh lemon
- oyster crackers optional
- Soak dried mushrooms if using in the stock for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and chop fine. Strain the stock, leaving any dirt at the bottom and reserve, adding the chopped mushrooms.
- In the soup pot, turn the heat to medium high and fry the bacon.
- Drain off the bacon fat into a small mixing bowl and reserve. Cool the for a few minutes, then stir in the flour, it should make a loose paste.
- Add the butter, leeks and celery, along with the onion and garlic to the pot and cook for 3 minutes. If using fresh mushrooms, push everything to the side of the pan and add them now, cooking until wilted, stirring occasionally.
- Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the stock, potatoes, salt and pepper, bacon, thyme and bay leaf, cover, bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Scrape the flour paste into the soup, whisk briskly, and simmer until thickened and you can see the flour has activated. Keep an eye on the bottom of the pot and make sure it doesn't stick.
- Add the cream to the chowder, mix to combine and heat through. Do not boil it.
- Finally, double check the seasoning one last time, adjust as needed until it tastes good to you, and serve, garnished with the herbs and lemon wedges on the side.
- 1 oz of dried mushrooms can be substituted for fresh mushrooms, or use a combination.
- For a more filling chowder, add chopped, cooked chicken. Start with a handful or ~ ½ cup chopped chicken.
More Wild Mushroom Soups
Serve it in a bowl, or in a cup.