Wild Mushroom and Saffron Bisque


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Serves 4 to 6


Actually, “gourmet mushroom” would be a better term, since the mushrooms suggested here were not gathered in the wild.  I would never advocate that anyone beyond the most expert indulge in that dangerous hobby.  Even the experts miss on occasion.  All the mushrooms suggested here are varieties that are now cultivated.


½ teaspoon saffron threads *

¼ cup defatted, low sodium chicken broth


1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter

1 cup sliced Trumpet Roayal Mushrooms

1 cup clusters of  Hen-of-the-Woods, Alba Clamshel, Velvet Pioppini  or combination there of ***


½ large yellow onion, chopped very small

2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence


About 4 cups low sodium, defatted chicken broth

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons water, milk or chicken broth


1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup inexpensive cream Sherry


¼ cup finely chopped parsley

Place the saffron in a small bowl and cover with the chicken broth.  Set aside until needed.  Heat the oil and butter in a heavy pot and over medium heat, sauté the Trumpet Royal medallions until just until hot through and somewhat translucent.  Do not allow to bown.  Remove and set aside.  Add a bit more oil and butter if necessary.  Mushrooms are very thirsty.  Gently sauté the clusters of Hens-of-the-Woods, (or other mushrooms) until hot through and just beginning to brown around the edges.  Be careful in handling. They are delicate and break apart easily.  It is best to turn them with tongues.  Remove from the pot and set aside with the Trumpet Royals.

Add a bit more butter and olive oil if necessary and gently sauté the onion and garlic together with the Herbes de Provence only until the onion is pinkish and transparent.  Do not allow to brown. 


Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, and immediately reduce to a brisk simmer and continue cooking for another two or three minutes.  In a small bowl make a slurry of the flour and liquid.  Whisking all the while, add about half a cup of the hot chicken broth to the slurry to “temper” it.  Then, again whisking all the while, slowly add the slurry to the simmering chicken broth in a thin stream.  Continue simmering while whisking until the mixture is somewhat thickened, another two to three minutes. Now gently whisk in the cream, Sherry

Trumpet Royal

Maitake Frondosa™


Alba Clamshel

Velvet Pioppini Mushrooms

Velvet Pioppini

and saffron with its liquid.  Add the reserved mushrooms and stir gently for another two to three minutes.  Place in a heated tureen, gently stir in the parsley and serve hot with fresh baked crusty bread.


* The quality of saffron varies greatly.  The amount needed will vary depending on the quality.   


** Slice off the crowns and use in another application. Slice the stems into medallions about ¼ inch thick.


*** Separate the Hen-of-the-Woods or other mushrooms into small clusters.

The English Country Kitchen


        Copyright © 2008 - Geraldine Duncann

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