Cindy's Dairy-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

There is something magical about serving dishes created from gathered or home-grown foods.

I host an annual Christmas Cookie Exchange each December. Soups, hors d'ouvres, laughter and wine create a fun celebration of the holidays with the wonderful women in my community. This soup was a hit! The smoky turkey stock, earthy mushrooms and silky coconut milk combine into a lovely, creamy soup (it doesn't taste "coconutty"!).

We gathered several pounds of Chanterelles this August in Telluride, Colorado, and processed them in a variety of ways. I learned chanterelle mushrooms are best frozen after cooking to remove their moisture. Sautéed with aromatics, these frozen mushrooms make a delicious, easy side dish, topping, or recipe addition. I also filled a 10-tray dehydrator with chanterelles, which dried down to a minuscule two pints of crunchy, earthy goodness! Rehydrated chanterelles are tasty, but rubbery, so it's ideal to puree them with stock for soups or gravies.

This soup reconstitutes the earthiness of a Telluride forest with the warm memories of the harvest as well. Enjoy!

Cindy's Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 ounce dried chanterelle mushrooms
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
4 cups smoked turkey stock (or beef or chicken broth)
6 sprigs rosemary and
8 springs thyme, tied in a bouquet de garni
2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 c white wine
1/2 t salt, or to taste
1/2 t pepper, or to taste
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups coconut milk
3 scallions, sliced thinly

Bring the stock to a boil in a soup pot and remove from heat.
Soak the dried mushrooms in hot stock for 20-30 minutes.
Tie the rosemary and thyme with twine into a bouquet de garni.
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
Add onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, wine, salt and pepper to the stock and mushrooms and simmer gently, covered, for 60 minutes.

While soup is simmering, sauté the sliced button mushrooms until lightly browned in a medium-hot pan, either in a dry pan or with a little oil. Set aside.

Remove and discard herb stems and puree the soup.

Return pureed soup to pan with sautéed mushrooms, scallions and coconut milk. Heat until warmed and serve.

Add more stock for a lighter tasting soup.