Last Saturday I went out to the Kitsap Peninsula to visit a friend who I had recruited to help me with a small project, and she decided to teach me how to gather my own wild chanterelles while I was there. I’ve never cooked with chanterelles but while eating a mildly successful first cooking of my wild harvest*, my husband commented that they might be good in onion soup and I was up for the challenge. The next evening I prepared the below meal and served it with roasted asparagus, and I’m happy to announce that this soup is a success!
*If you intend to harvest wild mushrooms make sure you find an experienced forager to show you what your looking for. Harvesting one wrong mushroom can be deadly.
Chanterelle Onion Soup
Cooking time is 75 minutes with prep during cooking and an additional 15 minutes up front for a total 90 minutes. You can do some clean up as you go.
(Photo taken in haste as the last of the soup and toast are claimed.)
Gather your ingredients:
□ 5 yellow or white onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
□ 2 Tablespoons of Light olive oil
□ 3.5 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
□ Fresh and/or dry thyme
□ 2 Tablespoons of white wine (cooking wine is good, or use what you’re drinking)
□ ½ lb chanterelle mushrooms,
□ Flat leaf parsley (about ¼ cup chopped)
□ 4 to 6 cloves of garlic (about 1/8 cup chopped, or a little less)
□ 4 oz. of Gruyere Cheese
□ 1 large beautiful loaf of French bread
□ Salt & fresh grind black pepper
Put in your contacts or find someone who wears contacts to slice your onions. If you don’t have a contact wearer, refrigerate your onions for about 3 hours before slicing them, or wear swim goggles, this will help make onion slicing more pleasant. Also, before you start, check your chanterelles for cleanliness.
1. Add to soup pot 5 thinly sliced onions
2. Pour 2 tablespoons light olive oil over onions and coat all the onions with the oil.
3. Heat the onions over medium heat.
4. Chop 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and spread out over onions. As the butter melts, stir the onions to coat them in the butter.
5. Sprinkle a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves or a pinch (up to ¼ teaspoon) of dried thyme, or a bit of both, over the onions.
6. Cook over medium heat, checking constantly. Every now and then, stir up the browned onions so that the un-browned onions can feel the heat.
7. After about 10-15 minutes your onions should be a bit brown. If not, you may want to raise the heat a little more. Avoid over cooking, onions should be moist and brownish.
8. When your onions are ready reduce the heat to med-low and cook for 40 minutes, stirring often!
During the next 40 minutes,
· Prepare your previously cleaned chanterelles.
· Grate Gruyere cheese and prepare your French bread.
· Check in on your onions, they’ll start getting mushy and browner. Stir them.
· Have oven heated to 450 by the end of this 40 minute period.
1. In a skillet or wok, over low heat melt 1.5 Tablespoons of butter
2. Raise heat to high and add ½ lb. chopped Chanterelles
3. Cook, stirring constantly 5-7 minutes
4. Add chopped flat leaf parsley and chopped garlic
5. Cook for 1 more minute
6. Take off heat and add salt and fresh ground black pepper. Toss and set aside.
Using a bread knife cut your French bread in three or four equal parts then cut each piece down the middle in half. It is fun to have large pieces of bread, so consider how many people you are serving. Arrange the bread crust side down on a baking sheet a top each with the grated cheese. Verify that your oven is warm.
Back to Onions
1. When onions are ready, add 2 tablespoons of white cooking wine and raise the heat to evaporate the juices, quickly stirring the onions to absorb what they can.
2. Add 3.5 cups of brown chicken stock or broth and the mushrooms. Simmer for 20 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, place bread on the center rack in the oven and heat until the cheese starts to brown (or pull it slightly before it turns brown). The bread should be lightly toasted on the edges.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste to the soup.
Ladle soup into bowls and serve with a big piece of toast.