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.
Keep the domestic mushrooms separate from the wild varieties, Rinse the wild mushrooms quickly in cool running water in a deep bowl. Drain well.
Remove the stems from the 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, or use a hand blender.
Blanche the strips of black trumpet mushrooms and white clamshells in boiling water for one minute, then plunge immediately into ice water to stop cooking. Drain well on paper towels.
To serve, divide the 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, sprinkle the chives on top and enjoy!