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Irish Mushroom Soup
by Charlie Burke

This recipe, of obscure origin, is hand
written in the oldest cook book that
I own from the 1970s. I’ve made many
other mushroom soups, but this simple
preparation has remained a favorite,
and I usually double the recipe because
requests for a second bowl are frequent.   

In nearly all my other recipes, the mushrooms are sautéed over high heat to
brown and add flavor; here they are simply chopped and cooked in the soup.
I usually mix common white mushrooms with whatever others are available in
the market, but it’s fine to use only white mushrooms. The reason it is
called “Irish” is unknown, but the scallions provide a fine green color which is
cause enough during the week of Saint Patrick.  

A cup of this soup is a great start to a St. Patty’s Day meal of New England Boiled
Dinner of
corned beef and cabbage.

Makes 4 first course servings

1 ½ cups chopped scallion, including the green tops
4 cups chopped fresh mushrooms (pulsed in a processor or
hand chopped; pieces should be approximately ¼ inch in
¼ cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk, warmed
2 cups chicken, vegetable or mushroom stock, warmed
(can be added to milk and both heated in the microwave)
Sea salt
Ground pepper

Melt butter over low – medium heat in a large sauté pan or a
thick bottomed pot.

Place scallions in pan and cover with a buttered sheet of
wax paper and place lid on pan.

When scallions are tender, remove wax paper and
add mushrooms; increase heat to medium and
stir for 2 -3 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and scallions; stir in
flour and cook for 3-4 minutes to eliminate raw flour taste.

Pour milk and stock slowly into pan while whisking
to incorporate flour mixture.

Bring just to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. The soup
can be made ahead and kept at room temperature for an
hour or two; refrigerate if required to hold it longer.

About the author  An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the vice
president of the New Hampshire Farmer’s Market Association and helps run the
SanborntonFarmers' Market. Along with his wife, Joanne, he grows certified organic herbs,
greens and berries at Weather Hill Farm in Sanbornton, NH.  
The Heart of New England
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