• Creamy Fitz Farm Mushroom Stew

    Serves 8

    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms, brushed*, trimmed and left whole
    1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, brushed*, trimmed and cut in 1/4-inch slices
    1/2 pound chanterelle mushrooms brushed trimmed and cut in 1/4-inch slices
    1 large white onion, diced
    4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    4 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade*
    Fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt
    1 1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 bunch Italian parsley, washed and coarsely chopped

    Place a heavy-duty, non-reactive soup pot over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat until it starts to shimmer.* Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned and tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked mushrooms from the pot and set aside.

    Keep the pot on medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Heat until it shimmers and add onion, garlic, thyme. Cook while stirring until onions are translucent. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the reserved cooked mushrooms and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and fresh pepper to taste.

    Turn off the heat and, leaving half of the mushrooms in the pot, ladle 3 cups of the soup into a blender. Puree until smooth and add back to the soup pot. Add the cream and simmer for 15 minutes. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed.

    To serve:
    Ladle into 8 warm soup bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

    • *Epicurean Tip
      A Quick Trick for Mushroom Cleanup

      Mushrooms absorb water like a sponge. Also, if you decide to wash them and then leave them wet too long they will start to break down and get slimy. Better to brush them with a thick pastry brush. I prefer round as opposed to flat brushes; the round ones seem to get in the nooks and crannies better.

    • *Epicurean Tip
      A Hot (Vegetable) Stock Tip!

      Nothing beats flavorful, homemade stock. It’s easy to make your own and, if you do, all your recipes will be vastly improved. Here is my own recipe for a savory vegetable stock.

      Vegetable Stock
      4 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
      6 stalks celery, diced large
      1 celery root, peeled and diced large
      2 carrots, peeled and pencil cut
      2 red bell peppers, stem removed, seeded, membrane removed, diced large
      1 rutabaga, peeled and diced large
      2 parsnips, peeled and pencil cut
      2 bulbs fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
      1 tablespoon black peppercorns
      2 bay leaves
      4 sprigs of thyme, left whole

    • *Epicurean Tip
      A Frying Temperature Trick

      When heating oil for frying, place a slice of raw white or yellow onion in the oil after you turn on the burner. When the onion starts to brown, the oil is at frying temperature. The minute you add something to the oil, the temperature drops so you may want to turn the heat up a bit to maintain a steady 375. Of course, a fry-oil thermometer works best, but the vessel you are using for frying may not be deep enough to allow you to use it.