More than 400 spices of mushroom grow in Estonia and almost 100 of them are edible. And proximate 25 of them are a very good edible mushroom.
I know and foraging for food more than 10 spices.
This is Creamy Mushroom Puree Soup with Juniper Berries. Gin is boosting the taste of the Juniper berries and complements the sweetness of cream and mushroom. Juniper berries impart a sharp, clear flavour.
NB! For cooking use only the mature, dark berries
This time I used salted mushroom.
How to remove additional salt are a lot of tips.
My South Estonian relatives told me that they boiling salted mushroom in milk. And after that no saltness and mushroom look and taste like a fresh.
The second option is to boil mushroom just in the water.
And the simplest one. Put mushroom to soak the night before.
Fresh chanterelle: The mushrooms are cleaned without water, with only a clean, dry towel and paring knife. Heat the chanterelle in a skillet without fat/butter until water has evaporated.
Frozen mushroom: melt, fry slightly.
Juniper berries (cones) are refreshing and power-giving Nordic treats.
The type of juniper most widely spread in Estonia is the common juniper (Juniperus communis). You can see it growing the most in the Western and Northern parts of Estonia. Juniper symbolizes rebirth, protection and humbleness. „There is no reason to wonder, why the juniper has become one of the symbols of our windy homeland and for all Estonian nation, showing the undying power of life, no matter what comes ahead. (Ants Viires, 2000)“
Picking juniper berries means success that can be achieved with hard work. People widely believe that if you eat one juniper berry in a day, they stay young forever. If children have three juniper berries in a day, they are more likely to stay healthy.
This and many other sayings created a belief that juniper can cure 9 different diseases, 99 diseases in some cases.
Since juniper berry carries a cross formation on it, it was believed that juniper can help against witchcraft, revenants and anything evil.
It is also believed that juniper cleans and strengthens one’s body energetically. For humans, it has the best effect by breathing in, but it can also affect objects around that person. Juniper branches burnt in the house may clean up bad aura.
Juniper berries contain essential oils, sugars, resins, colourants, fatty acids, organic acids, carbohydrates and trace elements (Manganese, Iron, Copper and Aluminum). Juniper berries have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects during colds. Berries also stimulate urine and saphenia and promote digestion.
Creamy Mushroom Puree Soup with Juniper Berries. Seene ja kadakamarjapüreesupp
A light and delicious puree soup for a dinner.
- 1 (red)onion
- 2 clove garlic
- small leek
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 300 g mushrooms
- 4 tablespoon gin
- 500 ml stock ( NB! if you use salted mushrooms, be careful with salt. I suggest to use water, not stock)
- 200 ml 35 % cream
- juniper berries
- (salt), pepper
- Chop onion, leek and garlic.
- Melt butter, add vegetables and berries. Simmer at a low heat few minutes and add gin and mushrooms
- Simmer at a low heat few minutes and add hot stock or water (if mushrooms are salty). Simmer at low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Blend soup using a blender and add cream
- let bring to boil and season