For several days something that appeared to be a mushroom sprang up in the yard and got bigger and bigger and bigger until it was larger than my head. Thinking to trash it before it took over, I pulled it off the ground and was blown away by how much it weighed. When I started looking at it, trying to recall my limited mushroom knowledge, the first thing I noticed was it didn’t have any gills.
Curious now, I took it inside and cut it in half to find that it was dense from top to bottom. Now, really puzzled, I posted this photo on Facebook and asked for someone to identify it. Immediately, several Maine folks informed me it was a puffball mushroom that was deliciously edible.
I wasted no time experimenting, first sautéing it in butter to get a feel for the taste. It was quite mild with a very nice flavor. Since then it has been used in scrambled eggs and spaghetti sauce and added to stir fried veggies, all of which worked beautifully.
So far so good with no ill effects which led me to think about a soup. Now, that was a real winner. The hubby went so far as to say it was the best mushroom soup he’d ever had and that’s something since he loves the one we learned on one of our Foodie Adventures with Michael Salmon.
Quite honestly, to make the soup I just started throwing ingredients…celery, a couple of small potatoes and baby carrots…in the pot and simmered them in chicken stock. For seasoning, I used a garlic/herb mix, onion powder, dried fire roasted tomatoes, salt and pepper. When the veggies were tender, I added about 5 cups of puffball, broken into small pieces, and let it cook for a few minutes longer. While the cooking continued, I used an immersion blender to puree the mix. At the last minute a cup or so of milk was added.
Now, for the taste test….scrumptious! It was just the right thickness with flavor that made taste buds sing. I don’t know whether or not I’ll ever be lucky enough to have another puffball volunteer in the yard, but my fingers are crossed because I have ideas for a few more things to try. If you’ve had experience with this unusual mushroom, do share.
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