This creamy shiitake mushroom soup is based on the earthy, powerful flavours of dried shiitake mushrooms. It is very warming, comforting, filling and great for when you have a bit of a cold and need some comfort food.
A couple of days ago I came down with this annoying summer cold. I started feeling achy, my throat became scratchy and then the sniffles started. Oh well…it just needs to take its time till it passes. To help my body fight this bug off, I’ve been nourishing my body with the best home remedy around: chicken soup.
So, I boiled up a few chicken feet, onions, herbs, powdered ginger and garlic to get a rich, silky stock. As I mentioned in my lentil soup recipe, chicken feet probably make the best stock out there. They’re cheap, the flavour is delicate and not too overpowering, it goes with almost anything (like a good chicken stock should) and it’s quick and easy to make. I hope after all my gushing about chicken feet, you’ll at least give them a try!
This time around I didn’t feel like lentil soup, since I had that last week. I wanted something creamy, ideally with mushrooms. I didn’t want to go to the supermarket either; so I rummaged through my cupboards until I found a package of dried shiitake mushrooms. I often use them for braises, sometimes omelettes and other recipes. I’d never used them for a creamy soup, though, so this was a first.
So, in order to use dried shiitake mushrooms you need to soak them in hot water for at least half an hour or so. After that you can chop them up and use them as you would fresh mushrooms. You can also use the water they soaked in for a little more umami flavour; though that’s totally optional.
I also decided to pop the chicken feet into the oven under the broiler for a few minutes, so I preheated the oven, slathered some store-bought barbecue sauce onto my chicken feet, and into the oven they went for about 10 minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit until they got this nice brown colour.
- 5-6 uncooked chicken feet
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger (optional)
- Any dried herbs you have on hand (dried basil, rosemary, sage etc)
- Salt to taste
- 2 liters of water to boil the chicken feet
- 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 cups of hot water (or enough to cover the mushrooms in a bowl)
- 1/4 cup all purpose white flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup low fat milk
- In a large pot, bring the 2 liters of water to a boil
- Add the herbs, onion, ginger, salt and chicken feet. Boil for at least 1 hour. After that remove the chicken feet from the stock.
- In the meantime, soak the mushrooms in the hot water in a bowl for about 30 minutes
- In a medium sized pot, heat the butter on medium heat, add the flour and whisk for 5 minutes. Lower the heat and start adding small amounts of stock very, very gradually, while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. (If, however, you do get lumps, a little hack I learned is that you can then put your lumpy soup mixture in the blender and blitz it until it’s smooth again. No one will ever know.)
- After you’ve added about 2 cups of stock and the cup of milk, if you like, you can also add the mushroom water for extra flavour. Keep whisking until the consistency is creamy but not too thick; basically it looks like a nice creamy soup.
- Chop up the mushrooms into small cubes and add to the soup. Continue stirring over medium heat and bring to boil, lower heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir regularly.
- In the meantime, preheat your oven broiler to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chicken feet in a small pan, brush some barbecue sauce on top and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until nicely browned.
- Serve the soup with a slice of toasted bread or with the roasted chicken feet. Enjoy!
What are your favourite soup recipes? Let me know in the comments! If you like soups, check out my lentil soup recipe for another hearty soup!
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