Foodgasms · Foraging · Gardening

maitake and wild garlic mustard soup

20161111_201305Today was a good day to go into the woods.  It has been a long season with many challenges, which in truth seems to be the theme for the whole of 2016.  I continue to try to make time for reflection, grounding, fresh air, and joy.  Admittedly, it isn’t happening as often as I would hope.

Today, I put aside my lists and got out.  My reward was a wild bounty for dinner.

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Under a large, ancient oak, I discovered a huge hen of the woods (maitake) mushroom.  I generally am too timid to forage for mushrooms, but this variety is hard to mistake for others, and lookalikes are benign.

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20161111_151751It was a bit old and worn, but it was huge.

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Further down the trail, I found wild garlic mustard still thriving.  This makes sense, as it is seemingly impossible to kill.  At any rate, between the mushrooms and greens, I had the makings for a great soup, and it just happened that I had a batch of chicken stock simmering on the stove while I was out walking.

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My herbs are still thriving, as well.  Fresh herbs, wild garlic mustard, red pepper, dried sumac from last year (I still have so much I chose not to pick any on today’s walk), onion, celery, chardonnay, cream, chicken stock, mushrooms, and some salt, pepper, and fire, et voila!  A very November soup.

It was a bit of work cleaning and paring down the maitake, partially because of its size, and partially because it had been so well loved by other critters before I found it.  But it was worth the effort.  The soup was fantastic, and I also have a bag of frozen mushrooms for future meals.

I am grateful for the reminder of all the unexpected joys life can bring.

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