Wild Mushroom Hunter’s Soup

This recipe is adapted from Cooking One-on-One: Lessons from a Master Teacher by John Ash (Clarkson Potter, 2004). The original recipe was actually tossed together on a canoe trip using foraged ingredients, but unless you are feeling jaunty and are a wild mushroom expert, this version works equally well with store-bought exotic mushrooms.


The earthiness of the mushrooms and zest of ingredients like lemon, garlic and onion make the fruity yet clean flavors of a California Sauvignon Blanc a sure bet; recommended producers include Selene, Gainey and Rochioli.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 2 tablespoons slivered garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh Trumpet Royale and Alba Clamshell mushrooms, wiped clean and thickly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced (or canned diced tomatoes in juice)
  • 6 cups rich chicken or mushroom stock
  • 1/3 cup Amontillado sherry
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan or Asiago cheese, freshly grated, for serving
  • Parsley, chives, basil and/or chervil, chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large deep saucepan and cook the onions and garlic over moderate heat until they are lightly golden.

While onion mixture is cooking, sauté the mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate sauté pan over high heat until they are cooked through and lightly browned. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, and stock to the onion mixture. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the sherry and zest and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup in warm bowls or mugs, garnished with a good sprinkling of cheese and chopped fresh herbs.

Published on December 17, 2009