By now you know that I’m a little strange, and I’m sure this post is not going to detract from that image. Inspired by finding cute little white mushrooms all around my yard after a recent thunderstorm, I went online to find a good mushroom identification guide. This search led me to Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois & Surrounding States. I perused this book for the last couple of days, and was inspired this morning to see if I could find any of the mushrooms from the book out in my yard.
Alas, no – but I did find a few interesting mushrooms I thought I’d check out online:
I found out that these are White Pine Boletes (Suillus americanus, for those of you who like to know such things), otherwise known as Chicken Fat Mushrooms (how fitting, right?). We have TONS of them growing under the pine trees in our front yard. Apparently they’re edible, but not anything special.
My internet search found that they were actually the Mushroom of the Month for July 2004 on UW-La Crosse professor Tom Volk’s webpage (check it out - all you never knew you wanted to know about the Chicken Fat Mushroom!)
Well, not one to pass up free food, I gathered up a all of these lovely 'shrooms that I could find and put most of them in the dehydrator. The rest I saved for supper - Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup.
*REMEMBER: NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER EAT A MUSHROOM UNLESS YOU ARE 100% SURE IT IS SAFE!*
Now, I WISH I could say that I went out and harvested my own wild rice, too (I do live in an area where wild rice was once abundant - I even had to go to the nearby city of Rice Lake to buy some! But alas, back in the big logging boom in the 1800s, they put in a dam that changed the lake so now rice won't grow there. *sigh*)
Anyway, as I was saying, with my lovely little boletes I made this warm and creamy soup:
Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
1 cup wild rice, cooked in 3 cups of water
4 oz bacon, chopped
4 Tbsp butter
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup heavy cream
In a large pot, cook bacon and melt butter. Sautee onions and mushrooms. Sprinkle with flour and cook until the flour starts to stick to the bottom of the pot (scrape it up as much as you can). Add wild rice, parsley, pepper, wine and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cream and serve.
Just because I couldn't resist, I’ll close with a picture of a cute little baby bolete, nestled among the clover, dandelions, hawkweed, and grass under the pine trees on our front lawn:
This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade and Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager.