Overnight it seemed, this big blob sprung up in the yard. Curious, I pulled it up, took it inside for a photo that was posted on Facebook with the question what is it. Immediately came back a number of responses, mostly from Maine friends, identifying it as an edible puffball.
Edible? I was a little doubtful but decided to give it a try. First, I sliced it to find it a little on the spongey side and solid all the way through. So began a series of dishes ranging from omelets to risotto to pizza and adding chopped, diced orsliced pieces of puffball. What was discovered was that a puffball is fairly tasteless until it is seasoned and has a very different texture from other mushrooms with which I am familiar.
Of all the ways it was prepared our favorite was mushroom soup. I had no recipe so I chopped a section of the puffball and sautéed it in butter with some onion and garlic. Chicken stock was added along with salt, pepper and herbs d’Provence. The mixture simmered for about 10 minutes and then using a handheld blender(my favorite kitchen tool), I pureed it. It tasted good, but thinking how it could be improved I added half and half and returned the soup to the stove and heated it through. Talk about good, the hubby and I both had seconds. Served with a green salad and some crusty bread, puffball mushroom soup is a simple and yummy dinner.
If you ever see one of these growing in your yard, pluck it right up. If it’s white all the way through, don’t be afraid to use it, but if it’s yellowish and has a mushy texture, throw it in the trash.
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