Wild Deer and Mushroom Soup

Download Printable Recipe (You will go to mediafire.com)

This recipe owes its roots to Poland, where mushroom hunting is a seasonal tradition. We can't really call this "Polish" though because of the modifications that we made. (Wasn't really sure where to find wild Polish mushrooms in California. Hmmm...) Nevertheless, we promise that this will be one of the most flavorful soups you will ever have! If you can't find the mushrooms listed below, you can always use white button mushrooms. However, darker mushrooms make for superior taste. For the meat portion, we went with deer ring bologna, which complemented the mushroom flavor in the broth perfectly. If you like mushrooms, this soup is for you!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes
Servings: 4
- 5 cups of fresh mushrooms, sliced (we used a combination of shiitake and maitake) 
- 1 lb. deer ring bologna, cut into small pieces
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 4 tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 large russet potatoes, cut smaller than a dice
- white pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- sour cream
- fresh or dried parsley, chopped

Here is what maitake and shiitake mushrooms look like. Maitake is the bouquet looking mushrooms to the left and the shiitakes are to the right. They are widely found in Asian supermarkets. 

Maitake is known to English speakers as "Hen of the Woods," "Ram's Head" or "Sheep's Head." In Italy, they're called "Signorina." 

To prepare, wipe off with a brush or dry towel and cut off any stems. 

Cut the ring bologna into small pieces. If you don't have deer ring bologna, any similar sausage will do.

You should also cut the potatoes very small. It will cook faster and will be used 
as the thickening agent in the soup.

1. In a medium sized pot, melt butter over medium heat and cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Sweat the onions, don't burn them. 

Sprinkle some salt over onions. Helps to flavor and draw out moisture.

2. Add sliced mushrooms. Cook until they shrink and lose their moisture. About 5 minutes.

REMEMBER NOT TO RINSE MUSHROOMS IN WATER. If you have to, just use a damp cloth to wipe them off. Wet mushrooms will mess up the cooking process, making them soggy and not tender. 
3. Add 4 cups of beef broth into the pot and 2 cups of water.
4. Add deer ring bologna... 
And the potatoes.

5. Cover and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. 

6. Once tender, use a potato masher and gently mash potatoes against bottom of the pot so they disintegrate. (You don't have to be perfect.) Season with salt and white pepper, to taste. Add as much chopped parsley as you want. 

Sans Sour Cream

7. Ladle into individual bowls and top each with about 1 tbs. of sour cream. The sour cream is  MUST, so don't skimp out on it.


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