Really Wild Mushroom Soup
This is a fabulous, elegant soup made with a variety of mushrooms. Try it with an assortment of cheeses and crackers. This recipe is adapted from one by Chef Charles Dale, and serves six.
Remember, when washing the mushrooms, make it quick. Soaking the mushrooms in water will diminish their flavor.
Keeping the domestic mushrooms separate from the other varieties, wash the mushrooms quickly in lukewarm water in a deep bowl. Mix the mushrooms well to loosen the dirt. Remove them gently by hand, leaving the dirt in the bottom of the bowl.
Remove the stems from the trumpet royale and shiitake mushrooms, then slice all mushrooms except the black trumpets and the white clamshells.
Heat a 2-gallon soup pot over moderate heat. Add the olive oil, the chopped domestic mushrooms, and the minced shallots. Cook until the mushrooms are wilted and soft.
Add the remaining mushrooms. Continue to cook for about five minutes, then add the vermouth. Reduce for about five minutes.
Add the skim milk, the thyme sprig, garlic, and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately lower it to a simmer. Cook for about a half hour, then remove the thyme sprig.
Season with salt, then cool slightly. When sufficiently cool, pour the mixture into a blender and puree.
Blanche the strips of black trumpet mushrooms and white clamshells in boiling water, then cool and add to the chives.
To serve, divide the tossed white clamshells and black trumpet mushrooms into six equal portions and place them in the bottom of soup bowls.
Pour the piping hot soup over the mushrooms and enjoy!