When I was young, my father used to call me an unnatural child because I didn’t like mushrooms. He’d been raised on a mushroom farm and took my distaste for them a little personally. I’ve made my peace with mushrooms over the years, but I still don’t seek them out. (Unless it’s Chicken of the Woods. If you have that, I’m coming to your house right now. Save me some.)
It’s World War II that made me the daughter of the son of a mushroom farmer. My grandfather was a veteran of that war and after he returned to Canada, he became a graphic artist. After a while, the company he worked for wanted to transfer him to the United States. But he had three sons and didn’t want them to be subject to U.S. draft laws. So, he gave up the job and started a mushroom farm instead.
I remember the mushroom barns. They were huge buildings, which we only entered under supervision. The button mushrooms glowed a little in the dim light and the smell of mushroom manure was surprisingly sweet. We would sometimes play hide-and-seek around the outside of the buildings, but mostly we played in the woods on the other side of the property. It’s a residential subdivision now.
So, although I didn’t eat mushrooms for many years, I had a soft spot for them. I’m also developing a soft spot for Paris Mushroom Soup. My mushroom-loving partner enjoyed it, as expected, but I really liked it, too. The soup starts with a reduction of white wine and the juices of the mushrooms. It ends with the addition of a “salad” of raw mushrooms and herbs, and a dollop of crème fraiche to finish it. Though I wouldn’t have made it without the prompting of the French Fridays With Dorie schedule, I’m glad I did.
UPDATE: Here’s what I did with the leftovers: Tuna Rice Casserole
You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Paris Mushroom Soup