Trust us, read the short story before you make the soup or have someone read it aloud to you while you are making the soup.
Damn he was handsome. A lithe mushroom farmer in a part of the country where black horse drawn buggies were steered by partially bearded men. I visited him just once on the farm. The trip was planned for four days but lasted only three.
Day one was textbook -a fantasy phase. My romantic fog had me focusing on our similarities and avoiding any obvious flaws. Day two was about denial -me trying to convince myself he was unique and charming. His excessive candle usage -sure, that’s “magical lighting” right? Plain sartorial choices -that’s just “refreshing” he’s got his own style. I mean who needs buttons or zippers when a hook-and-eye closure will do?By day three things didn’t smell right (and I’m not talking about the mushroom compost). All the signs were there.
My handsome farmer with his limited vocabulary but admirably chic grand-millennial style was closeted Amish. We said our gunder daags over a candle lit bowl of the best mushroom soup I had ever tasted.
It was one o’clock in the afternoon. -Libbie Summers
Mushroom Soup with Matcha Cream
What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds baby bella mushrooms, sliced (sauté a few and set aside for garnish)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley plus more for garnish
Flake sea salt or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup milk or cream
Crusty bread for dipping (optional)
Matcha Cream: (optional garnish)
1 tablespoon matcha powder
1/2 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
What to do:
1. Apron Up!
2. Sauté Mushrooms: In a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, onions and garlic. Add mushrooms and parsley, season liberally with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are well-browned.
3. Finish Mushrooms: Add soy sauce and cook, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in stock and cook until mushrooms are tender.
4. Puree Soup: Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a regular blender, blend the mixture until smooth. Return to pan and stir in milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer.
5. Make Matcha Cream: In a small bowl, stir together Matcha Cream ingredients.
To Serve: Set the table! Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with chopped parsley, reserved sautéed mushrooms a dollop of Matcha Cream and drizzle of olive oil.
Photography by Teresa Earnest
Story and Recipe by Libbie Summers