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Best Mushroom Bisque – Nearly all the old-fashioned recipes I adapt from my French grand-mère’s and great-grand-mère’s culinary repertoires were originally prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
These ingredients were as fresh as lettuce, herbs and veggies picked from the vegetable garden a mere hour before dinner.
Our dairy products came from the farm at the bottom of the hill; the forests you see provided the game and the wild things – including mushrooms.
If not from our garden (the view I have from the dining room window is somewhat compromised after more than 70 years but I will take it any day, in any weather), the fruits and vegetables came from great-grandfather’s garden – he grew the yummiest asparagus – or even from a neighbor’s vegetable garden (in a trade).
Milk, eggs and cream came from the dairy farm at the bottom of the hill. The meadows where the cows grazed can be seen in the photo below and the farm is still in operation seventy years later – I checked just last month. 👁
So are the boulangerie and the boucher (butcher shop).
These home style recipes (recettes du terroir) are tied to ingredients available locally as regional specialties including the wild mushrooms found in the nearby woodlands and well known regional forests. Click HERE for my best mushroom bisque recipe 🍄
Cheeses such as Maroilles are associated with this particular region in France. Too bad I can’t buy it in the USA.
In my mind’s eye, I can still see us (Grandmère and I) head out to the backyard during the late afternoon to gather the vegetables and herbs required for the evening meal. We did this every day.
I can’t forage in the nearby woods or even order Maroilles but I can and do shop more or less the same way we used to gather ingredients for our meals.
For the freshest ingredients, I shop several times a week.
I was hooked on Wegman’s© the day they opened their doors for business. They had me at fresh truffles!
“60 Minutes®” devoted an entire segment to the topic. I believe it. Truffles were super expensive at Wegmans® when they were available.
Truffles were under lock and key in the mushroom section right after the market opened.
Fresh truffles can cost upwards of $60 an ounce and if you can stand the aroma, they are quite healthy 😉
Did you know that truffles have such an intense flavor and aroma that you don’t even need to include them in the food?
Here is a little trick to flavor scrambled eggs for a holiday brunch without ever adding bits of truffle to the eggs.
Wash and dry fresh eggs. Place them in the fridge, in an airtight container along with a fresh truffle.
Due to the relatively porous egg shell, the raw egg will take on a truffle flavor. Voilà!
Want to go all out? Impress your guests by serving the scrambled eggs in clean egg shells topped with truffle shavings.
I personally love truffle salt but it is extremely potent so use it sparingly and above all, only in specific dishes.
It is not designed to replace salt as a seasoning in every dish you prepare.
Botanical Mushrooms DiagramThe fresh truffle display is long gone.
However, Wegman’s® continues to offer a wide selection of fresh mushroom in bulk form or already packaged.
My mushroom bisque was not made with freshly gathered wild mushrooms but rather a wild shopping spree where multiple shoppers who were also after mushrooms.
The easiest way to purchase a variety of mushrooms for any dish is to buy their mushroom blend.
We LOVE mushrooms so I always think in terms of how much will be left once the ‘shrooms have cooked down.
The image below was taken in the kitchen in France. We were two for dinner. It’s the best way I know to show that we can always make room for mushrooms. With any meal.
Just enough Champignons de Paris for our steak dinner!
The blend (Baby Bella, Shiitake, White, Oyster, King Oyster) is the perfect product to purchase and sauté in butter when you want to doctor up a can of Campbell’s® cream of mushroom soup. Or as a side dish for a steak dinner?
Sauté the mushrooms first (in butter), then prepare the soup according to the directions on the can, in the same pan. Please don’t use water to dilute the soup – use half and half.
When shopping Wegman’s® for mushrooms, be prepared to take a few minutes to select just the right kind of mushroom, in cell packs, whole, shredded, or in bulk.
At last count, they offer 37 different ways to buy mushrooms!
Happy Foraging & Bon Appétit!
1 Cook, 2 Countries & A Taste For World Cuisines: Cooking A La Mode De Chez Nous - Cuisine d'Hier Et d'Aujourd'hui! For the love of home style cooking and great food. Memories are made of this!