A simple mushroom chowder made with your choice of fresh or dried mushrooms.
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Keyword: Chowder, Wild mushrooms
6ozbacon(optional) sliced into ½ inch strips
½cupall purpose flour
12ozfresh wild or cultivated mushrooms *see note
8ozrusset potatoesdiced ½ inch (2 cups)
3oz3/4 cup diced carrot
4oz1 small finely chopped onion
4oz2 ribs celery, trimmed and diced ½ inch
½cupdry white wine
2dried bay leaves
5cupslight colored chicken or vegetable stock
Fresh chopped herbsespecially chives, dill, or tarragon
Wedges of fresh lemon
Render the bacon on medium heat in the soup pot you will cook the chowder in. While the bacon renders, chop the vegetables and mushrooms.
When the bacon has given up most of it’s fat, drain off the fat into a small mixing bowl and reserve. Cool the fat for a few minutes, then stir in the flour and reserve, it should make a loose paste.
Add all the soup ingredients except the cream to the pot with the bacon, cover, bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
When the vegetables are tender, scrape the flour paste into the soup, whisk briskly, and simmer until thickened and you can see the flour has activated. Thickening soup this way is called using a “beurre manie”.
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, and serve, garnished with the herbs and lemon wedges on the side.
* I prefer light colored mushrooms here for a mellow flavor, but you can use what you like. Chanterelles are particularly good.
*Using dried mushrooms
1 oz of dried mushrooms can be substituted for the fresh mushrooms, or you could use a combination. If you use dried mushrooms, rehydrate them in some of the chicken stock for 15 minutes, judge their shape and size, chopping coarsely if needed, making sure to agitate them around to remove grit that you will strain out or make sure not to add to the chowder.