My early porcini spot finally started fruiting a couple days ago, a full month behind last year’s schedule. My guess is that the mushrooms decided to wait for my parents’ arrival in Colorado. After so many trips to check for them, Gregg doubted I’d find any, but there they were, pushing their beautiful, bun-shaped, brown-red forms through the duff.
Last year, the season seemed almost past when my parents arrived for their annual summer trip, but there were still mushrooms enough for Dad to make his creamy mushroom soup. He made it with porcini (Boletus edulis) along with lesser mushrooms including short-stemmed slippery jacks (Suillus brevipes) and yellow, blue-staining Suillus tomentosus, noting that for best results, a mix of mushrooms is best.
Later, I adapted the recipe to use strong-flavored hawk’s wings mushrooms (Sarcodon imbricatus), both kinds of Suillus, and beef broth, with excellent results.
Hopefully you can enjoy this adaptable recipe with whatever mushrooms flavor your dreams.
Creamy Mushroom Soup by Stan Marciniec
- 1½ lbs mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cups chicken stock or other stock
- 4-6 garlic cloves, diced
- Butter & olive oil, 5 tbsp total
- 1 qt. light cream/half & half
- Salt & pepper
- Dry sherry
- Sauté onions in butter/olive oil mixture until soft.
- Add garlic and saute for 1-2 min.
- Add mushrooms and sauté until volume reduces by about 2/3.
- Deglaze with sherry.
- Add chicken stock and cook for 30 min.
- Puree in food processor/blender or use a hand-held stick blender.
- Mix in cream.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic powder for an additional flavor boost.
*This recipe originally appeared in the September 2013 edition of the Wild Edible Notebook, a monthly wild foods magazine available for iPad in the Apple Newsstand or in various PDF formats for $1.99/month. Subscriptions support the ongoing development of the publication and its many digital formats. Thanks for your interest!
CAUTION: I have not given you enough information here to identify and eat a wild mushroom. Please consult multiple sources and/or expert opinion before eating a wild mushroom, and if it is your first time eating a given species, definitely don’t combine it with other species. There are steps to adhere to for your own safety, even after the positive ID, including cooking first, tasting in small quantities, and reserving a specimen to show the toxicologist in case of an adverse reaction. Eating the wrong species can kill you or cause permanent damage. This is my disclaimer. Please be smart and safe. You are responsible for your actions. Thanks so much. -WFG
Connie Qualey says
Is there much difference ( if any) between the wild foods available in different areas of Colorado? I live in the mountains of the so- called banana belt.
Erica Marciniec says
Hi Connie, yes due to the diverse climates and elevation zones in Colorado, there are definitely different foods available in different regions. So you are in the mountains around the Arkansas River Valley? At what elevation do you live?
Jerzy Kinicki says
My name is Jerzy Kinicki I live in Florida right now.l moved from New York where I pickup mushrooms for years.
When is the best time to come to Colorado for picking mushrooms?
What area you recommend?
So far I was only skiing in Colorado in winter.
This time I am planning to visit your forests.
Erica M. Davis says
Hi Jerzy, our mushroom season in the high county goes from mid-July to mid-September, weather dependent. August is probably best. We have not had a lot of rain this year, though, so I’d aim for a wetter summer if I were you.