Recipe of the Month: Morel Mushroom and Asparagus Soup
Here at Travel Oregon, we feature a recipe each month from a local restaurant, using local ingredients. Every spring, Ten Depot Street in La Grande, northeast Oregon, gets fresh morel mushrooms from the surrounding Blue Mountains, and fresh asparagus from nearby Walla Walla. One of their favorites soups is Morel Mushroom and Asparagus.
Morel Mushroom and Asparagus Soup (ingredients and detailed instructions to follow)
Step 1: Our cast of characters. The flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg are not pictured. But, we all know what they look like.
Begin by adding your chicken broth to a 4 quart pot.
While that is heating, break the tough ends off your asparagus and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Some of my pieces are a little bigger than 1/2 inch. This is okay, I think. Once the broth is heated, add your asparagus pieces. Let the asparagus cook for about 10 minutes – or until the asparagus is tender.
In the meantime, melt butter in a 10-inch saute’ pan. I opted to ignore the part of the recipe that states 10-inch saute pan, and it was a tight fit later on. Next time, I’ll follow directions.
Add the onions to the melted butter and cook until soft. Add the garlic, and cook slightly.
Next, add the mushrooms and saute’ for 5-10 minutes. Here’s where I figure out that I should have used a larger pan. Oops. Note: I wasn’t able to find the morel mushrooms that the recipe calls for, so instead, I used 1/4 pound brown mushrooms and 1/4 pound shitake mushrooms.
Now, go back to your broth and add in the milk. Fun fact: 4 cups of milk equals a quart. I’m probably the last person to figure this out. Heat the milk until almost boiling.
Now, go back to your saute pan, and add in the flour. Make sure it’s well combined and cooked through.
Add mushroom mixture to the milk and broth mixture.
And, whisk. Also, notice my furious whisking motion in the photo. Continue stirring and cooking until the soup is thick and creamy.
Before serving, add the sherry, salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Another fun fact: sherry is very fragrant. I’d refrain from taking a big sniff.
Finis! Pour into a pretty bowl and serve! Enjoy – and of course let us know if you try this, or anything from our recipe archives!
Morel Mushroom and Asparagus Soup
Serves 6 to 8
1/2 pound morel mushrooms (or any mushroom)
1 pound asparagus
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup finely diced onion
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
1/4 cup sherry
dash of nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Rinse the mushrooms in cold water and pat dry. Cut into small pieces. Wash the asparagus and break off the tough ends. Cut into ½-inch pieces. In a 4-quart pot, heat the chicken broth. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the milk and heat until almost boiling.
In the meantime, melt the butter over low hear in a 10-inch sauté pan. Add the onions and cook over low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook slightly. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the flour.
Stir the flour-onion-mushroom mixture into the hot milk and asparagus with a wire whisk. Continue stirring and cooking until the soup is thick and creamy. Add a dash of nutmeg, the salt and pepper and sherry. Continue stirring over low heat for another minute or two.
About the Author: Rhiannon West Chamberlain
Rhiannon is a native Oregonian who grew up exploring the nooks and crannies of the Oregon Coast and daydreaming in Powell’s City of Books. She now lives in NE Portland with her husband and her new baby boy and looks forward to teaching him to love Oregon as much as she does. Rhiannon attended both the University of Oregon and Portland State University, where she studied Journalism and Mass Media. She claims to ‘bleed green’ and happily cheers for both the Ducks and the Vikings every chance she gets. In her free time, Rhiannon enjoys sipping Oregon Pinot, finding new restaurants, bargain hunting and trying new recipes – sometimes successfully. She has a child-like enthusiasm for trying new things and rediscovering old ones – such as skee-ball, mini golf, and big slides.