Spring/Early Summer in Montana means a few things:
- Lots of snow
- Lots of sun
- spring projects/gardening
- Your first sunburn of the year.
- Your first grueling hike…that almost kills you; only because you’ve got 30lbs strapped to your back;) Of course.
- TONS OF MORELS(this being my favorite)
I love to go morel hunting, but it has not happened in the last few years. We have been super busy trying to keep up with everything else going on. I do love morels, and remember having them a few cherished times in my child-hood. One time when my Mom went picking in 2001, the year after we had fires surrounding us where I grew up in Townsend, MT. She brought us home a huge grocery bag of morels, and my dad made his famous Red Sauce and Pasta with Garlic Sautéed Morels that was one of the most memorable meals I have ever had. Another time was when we went to my late Uncle Dana’s house, and if I remember it correctly, he made Elk Steaks with sautéed Morels.
As I was checking out the produce isle of our local co-op I saw that they had locally foraged morels for sale. I immediately grabbed a bag and filled it(last year I didn’t buy them because of the price and I regretted it the whole year.) So I promised myself that this year, I would jump on it as soon as I could find them. We made two delicious meals with them, one being this soup, and the other was Provencal Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Morel, Wine, and Herb Sauce (which I will share with you in the near future.)
But this year we got lucky…our morel mania is not over!!! A friend called us yesterday and offered to show us his special spot (I know… this is super nice of him) to see if we can score enough to make some more delicious morel inspired dinners.
Now some chefs think that Morels get lost in a soup, but I disagree.
I believe if you use minimal ingredients, you can really let the earthy, nutty flavor of these gorgeous little devils shine. This turned out to be the best mushroom soup I have EVER made. The other ingredients did not compete with the slightly smoky flavor of the mushrooms. Everything was perfectly balanced. Top it off with some crème fraiche, or some coconut cream and you have got one AMAZING meal.
As it is dairy-free, it is suitable for a paleo/primal diet, as well as vegetarians, and vegans. It was very filling, but it was so good, it had the baby asking for thirds.
AND, get this…she doesn’t like mushrooms…shhhhh.
- 3TBS pastured butter or coconut oil
- 2 medium leeks, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces fresh morel mushrooms, sliced
- ⅛ teaspoon ground dried thyme
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups preferably home-made beef stock
- 2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk (or heavy cream)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground dried thyme
- 1 TBS arrowroot powder, dissolved in 2 TBS water
- salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- garnish with chives, coconut cream(crème fraîche) and black pepper
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the leeks, and cook until they have softened and turned translucent. Add the garlic, morels, and thyme. Cook for another 5 minutes. Reserve some of the mushrooms for garnish. Pour in the white wine, and let cook an additional two minutes, or until the wine has mostly evaporated. Pour in water and coconut milk or cream; bring to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes. Puree half of the soup in small batches, filling the blender no more than halfway full each time. Return soup puree to pot. Cook on low 7 minutes add the arrowroot/water mixture. Cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper before serving
eat. love. nourish.