And so we come to the end of the morel stash. It’s Mothers’ Day, and Sue has asked that we not go out to eat, but have a nice light dinner at home. Avgolemono Soup with morels, and fresh bread… lots of butter tonight.
I’ve made avgolemono soup with mushrooms once before: it adds a lot of umami, and the morels are even better. The broth comes from the carcass of a Costco chicken, and has the shreds of meat pulled from the bones. Seriously folks, there’s nothing like homemade stock. Use canned where you have to, for instance for braising something else… but real stock is amazing and takes very little active time, just an hour (for chicken, or a lot more for veal) of simmering while you do something else. Canned stock doesn’t have the flavor, or body of homemade: This stuff has the texture of jello in the fridge, and melts instantly in the hot pot.
Sue is baking bread from a sourdough starter that originally came from Ohio in the 19th century… but has been resurrected so many times I doubt it has any of its original microflora.
Recipe: Avgolemono Soup with Morels
4C (about 1 liter) homemade stock with 1 cup (225g) shredded meat
4Tbs (30ml) butter, divided
1/4C (120g) carrot, diced small
1/4C (120g) onion, diced small (I usually add celery too, but I used up what little I had making the stock)
2C (500ml) morels or other mushrooms, sliced in half lengthwise
2 Tbs (60ml) finely chopped parsley
1/4C (120ml) Tbs medium-grain rice
2 Tbs (30ml) lemon juice (1/2 lemon in my case)
Salt and black pepper to taste
pinch of dried dill (if I had fresh, I’d probably skip the parsley)
- In a medium pot, heat a little less than half the butter on medium.
- When the foam subsides, add the carrot and onion with a pinch of salt, and cook until transparent but not browned, about 3 minutes
- Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and add the rice
- Simmer for about 15 minutes until the rice is about tender.
- In a separate pan, heat the rest of the butter
- Again, when the foam subsides, add the morels with another pinch of salt and some black pepper
- Cook until they’ve darkened and shrunk
- While the broth and rice cook, separate the yolks and whites of the eggs. Add the herbs and lemon to the yolks.
- Beat the whites until stiff (I used a stick blender, it took almost no time)
- Add the yolks, lemon juice, parsley and dill and whisk together
- When the rice is ready, slowly whisk the egg mixture into the soup and allow to simmer for a minute or so.
- Taste, and adjust salt, pepper and lemon if needed — it shouldn’t be especially sour, but you should taste the lemon. Remember that there’s salt in the morels too.
- Serve, garnished on top with the morels