Watercress soup with grilled shiitakes

This is the soup we made in Episode 55 from fresh picked mushrooms and watercress.  The mushrooms are very meaty and delicious.

For the mushrooms:

  • 10 large shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 bulb green garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 bunch oregano (minced)
  • 1/4 Cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup seasoned rice vinegar (or rice vinegar with a bit of honey)
  • salt to taste

Remove the stems and marinate the mushrooms with the herbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and vinegar for as little as an hour, or overnight.  I did it for the length of time it took to cook the soup.  When the soup is ready.  Grill the mushrooms.  The way I like to do it is to char both sides – just so it has a bit of color.  Do this on the hot part of the grill, and then set them aside to finish cooking through.  Try a mushroom to to see if it is done.

For the soup:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 green garlic bulbs plus stalks (chopped)
  • 2 large potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • vegetable stock (or stock using mushroom stems) To make a stock using the stems of the shiitakes, roast them in the oven at 400 degrees with an onion until they have a bit of color.  Then add to a stock pot, cover with water, add the oregano stems from the mushroom marinade as well as the watercress stems.  Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour.  Then use with the potatoes.
  • 4 cups water cress
  • a little water

Saute garlic in the olive oil with salt until translucent.  Add potatoes and cook until halfway done (about 10 minutes) add vegetable stock and simmer until potatoes are cooked through. Puree and season.

Puree watercress with a little water.

Combine the potato puree with the watercress, and garnish with the mushrooms.  This dish can be served cold as well (in fact I recommend it!).  Also, a little bit of nice olive oil on top would be good, and a few shavings of Parmesan!