Watch this audio slideshow on how to make a soup with mushrooms that grow wild in Iceland. The recipe appeared in the recently-released mushroom guide Matsveppir í náttúru Íslands by Icelandic mushroom enthusiast Ása Margrét Ásgrímsdóttir. Since the release, mushroom picking seems to have become the hottest new hobby in Iceland.
Photos and narration by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir [email protected].
Click here to download the audio slideshow.
Mushroom enthusiast Ása Margrét Ásgrímsdóttir recently released the book Matsveppir í náttúru Íslands on edible mushrooms in Icelandic nature and during one weekend in September she guided a free mushroom-picking tour in the outdoor recreational area Heidmörk at the invitation of the Reykjavík Forestry Association.
Reykjavík seen from Heidmörk.
Now it seems that kreppa-friendly mushroom picking has become the hottest new hobby in Iceland’s capital region as whenever I take a walk in a forested area in Reykjavík I see that mushrooms have been pulled up and examined, perhaps cut in two, or, if deemed edible, only the dirty bit of the stem is left.
There are also suspiciously few of the most commonly eaten mushrooms left, the Birch Bolete, for example. But despair not, Ásgrímsdóttir’s mushroom guide will open up a whole new world to mushroom lovers and help you discover interesting and delicious new fungi, such as the Horse Mushroom (Lat. Agaricus arvensis) and the Crab Russule (Lat. Russula xerampelina). Both taste exquisite in soup.
Here is Ásgrímsdóttir’s wild mushroom soup recipe:
Put 400 g (almost one pound) mushrooms in a casserole and fry for a few minutes. If they’re fresh, fry them without any cooking oil or butter first to have the fluid evaporate. If there’s a lot of fluid you may want to sieve it out.
Then fry the mushrooms with some oil or butter. Add one finely chopped onion and fry it with the mushrooms until it goes soft.
Pour one liter mushroom broth into the casserole (water and mushroom stock cubes, or just plain vegetable stock cubes) along with 150 ml (3/5 cup) milk.
Mix four tablespoons flour with another 150 ml milk in a shaker, pour the mixture into the soup and stir continuously until the soup starts to thicken while it boils.
Let the soup boil at a low temperature for ten to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and perhaps flavor it with some port.
Whip 200 ml cream. Once the soup is ready, pour some of it into bowls and put some cream on top of it. You can also sprinkle some chopped chives on top of the cream.