As the temperature cools down I find I crave fewer salads and fruits and move towards wanting warming stews, pasta, and nourishing soups. As luck would have it, my organic delivery driver arrived with a special treat in this week’s grocery delivery—a small box of assorted wild mushrooms! They are gorgeous. A mixture of chanterelles, porcini, oyster and large red lobster mushrooms; a real treat. I knew instantly I wanted to use these wild mushrooms to make a wholesome superfood soup.
Mushrooms have a long history of being thought of as super-foods. Once called “food of the gods” by the Romans, who believed mushrooms were endowed with special powers, the Egyptians thought mushrooms granted immortality and, therefore, only the pharaohs were allowed the consume them.
Mushrooms have been found to contain health-promoting phytonutrients and polysaccharides, which promote the functioning of white blood cells, which are vital components of our immune system. Mushrooms also have great antioxidant properties, being high in selenium, while also supporting the function of many enzymes in our body such as glutathione peroxidase which promote a balanced oxygen metabolism. Finally, mushrooms have been studied for their health benefits in connection with the high amounts of B Vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties.
This soup is simple, allowing the mushroom flavors to truly shine through. The whole-wheat orzo makes it feel hearty and filling, while the spoonful of coconut milk provides a healthy fat and a creamy texture.
Wild Mushroom & Orzo Soup
- 1 cups whole wheat Orzo
- 4 cups water
- sprinkle sea salt
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tbsp. grass-fed butter or coconut oil
- 2 shallots peeled and finely sliced.
- 3/4 lbs. mixed fresh wild mushrooms of choice (eg. oyster, porcini, chanterelle, lobster), cleaned and sliced.
- 2-3 sprigs of thyme leaves picked
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced.
- 6 cups stock stock recipes in the recipe index
- handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk see recipe notes for water use
- Bring water and salt to a boil; add orzo, garlic and a sprig of thyme. Boil orzo for 10 minutes. Drain the orzo, using a colander. Remove the clove and thyme and set aside.
- Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat and add shallot slices, cooking until they are soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add butter or ghee, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper and fresh thyme and cook over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to release their juices and are softened.
- Add stock and, turning the heat up, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low add the juice of one lemon, cover, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
- With an immersion blender whiz up the soup the to consistency you like. I enjoy some pieces of mushrooms so I don’t over-blend it. Add coconut milk, parsley, and orzo to the soup, stir and allow to simmer for another 2-5 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and dig in.