My chef Tomasz is a mushroom forager by birth I think. He spends hours in the forest seeking the perfect mushrooms to cure/dry over the winter. Often he gets himself totally lost (I know this only because Kasia tells me. Tomasz always knows exactly where he is, apparently!) Those of less foraging disposition may choose to buy their mushrooms locally - either way, try this recipe out for yourself. We love it!
Asian spiced mushroom soup/shots
1 litre water
2 lemongrass stalks
400g fresh shitakes
400g brown chestnut mushrooms/brown baby bella
400g oyster mushrooms
toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
1 red onion
3/4 chopped fresh chilies
fresh ginger - 4 inch piece, peeled and grated
3 tins unsweetened coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves.
Make a strongly flavoured mushroom broth by simmering dried shitakes and porcini (3 cups of mushrooms for 1 litre water) for a few hours with 2 split lemongrass stalks and then allow it to cool and steep overnight.
The following day strain off the liquid. Roast fresh shitakes, oyster, brown baby bella mushrooms/chestnut mushrooms with 1 grated clove garlic and a sliced red onion (tossed in vegetable oil and a little toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper).
Once these are soft, reserve some to add back into the soup later, and add the rest to the mushroom broth with 3/4 chopped fresh red chiles (heat dependant!), grated fresh ginger (lots!), 1 clove garlic, coconut milk and 2 kaffir lime leaves. Bring this back to a boil and simmer. Once the flavours have infused remove lime leaves and whiz the lot in a blender - finely chop remaining mushrooms and add them to the soup, with chopped fresh coriander and spring onions. Can add a squeeze of fresh lime at the end if serving cold.