Backstory, part I. My parents are living abroad in Spain and Argentina this year. Which means I’m family-less this holiday season. My brother just flew from AZ to Spain, just in time for my mother’s birthday, so they’re all Europe-side, and I’m in Chi-town, lonesome. I’m not THAT bummed out because I’m going to NY to meet my BF’s family over Xmas proper, but I’m still muchly homesick.
Backstory, part II. My uncle lives in Montana, state of serious forest fires leading to serious morel mushroom hunt bonanzas. Every year, my wonderful uncle sends my grandma a large Ziploc of morels, and from this large Ziploc, she culls a small Ziploc, which goes back with me to Chicago, for when I’m feeling homesick.
Backstory, part III. My family has lived in Spain before. Seven years ago, to be exact. Since then, every Christmas, we do a tapas-fest. We’re pescetarians, so this involves lots of seafood and lots of veggies dishes. Each person makes two little plates. One of my mine is morel mushroom soup. Not a traditional Spanish dish, I know, but the rest of the family have those covered. Dad: mejillones, Bro: salmon en mojo, Dad again: tortilla de espanola. Morel soup reminds me of home, and people I love and miss.
Tonight, I used last Christmas’s dried morels to make this, with variations.
The best variation? I dip two thirds of the morels in Bisquick and fry them in butter. Of course I eat a few hot off the pan, but the rest go in a pile at the bottom of the soup bowl.
Made a quick roux (just like you taught me, Mom!) and thickened up the soup a bit.
And the finishing touches: adding a splash of cream, a splash of madeira, and a pinch of chive.
Thanks to Uncle Gerald for the mushrooms, Grandma Fran (whose birthday was a few days ago–happy b-day, Grandma!) for sharing them with me, and for my lovely Mama whose birthday is today, for making me love morels like a true Midwesterner.