(Mushrooms sizzling at a Healthy Holiday Veggie Cooking Class!)

Rich wild mushroom soup is warm and comforting. Hearty enough for dinner, super as a bowl of goodness for lunch the next day. Meaty and delicious mushrooms are a great way to serve up a veggie meal the whole family will enjoy.
No one will miss the meat!.

(The soup is cooking away...)

Unlike most of recipes, this soup is unique AND quicker because the dried mushrooms used in the soup are not rehydrated before you add them to the pot. The veggie stock provides enough liquid to make the distinctive taste of the dry mushrooms sing. This recipe will easily serve 8 adults, and reheats beautifully for lunch the next day or two.

This week’s featured herb, THYME is the perfect partner for the earthy taste of the mushrooms. Easy to grow and easily found in the grocery store, thyme has been used in cooking beginning with the Romans, who used thyme to “give an aromatic flavor to cheeses and liquors”. We don’t know how a thyme liquor would taste – but are sure that a cheese scented with thyme and mushrooms would be yummy!

Thyme has a history of being used in natural medicine for respiratory problems including coughs, bronchitis, and chest congestion. But recently the primary volatile oil in thyme has been studied. “Thymol” has been found to protect and significantly increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes and other cell structures. In particular, the amount of DHA in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes was increased after dietary supplementation with the herb. So by adding thyme to this wonderful mushroom soup, you add many extra antioxidants which make it even healthier and great tasting!

(The soup pureed - rich and creamy!)

Rich Wild Mushroom Soup

2 TB Unsalted Butter, Divided

1 TB Olive Oil

1 Large Yellow Onion, finely chopped

16 Oz Bellas, chopped

1 Oz *Dried Wild Mushrooms

2 – 4 Cups Vegetable Stock

½ LB Wild Mushrooms, sliced

2 TB Thyme

1 TB Fresh Lemon Juice

½ Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Step One Melt 1 TB butter with the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened – about 7 minutes. Add the white mushrooms, dried mushrooms, stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the dried mushrooms are tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Step Two While the soup is cooking, sauté the wild mushrooms in the remaining TB of butter until any liquid has evaporated. Add the herbs.

Step Three Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Place back into the stockpot, and add the  sautéed wild mushrooms, lemon juice and cream. Simmer until warm, remove from the heat, stir in the yogurt and add salt and pepper to taste.

(Serving up the soup with a garnish of thyme!)

Fun FOOD FACT: Because wild mushrooms are composed of mostly water, when they are dried the natural flavors are intensified – making them even more delicious. Even better, they have long storage life, up to a year, so you can enjoy their rich taste easily.

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