If you have fond memories of canned mushroom soup, you will enjoy this version. The canned soup's appeal is mainly due to its very high salt content. This recipe leaves out the salt but not the flavor.Print
Above: White and cremini are the most commonly used mushrooms in the U.S. followed by the portabella and shiitake.
COMMONLY USED MUSHROOMS
White mushrooms range in size from tiny—called button, which are harvested when young and have the mildest flavor—to jumbo, which can be stuffed and baked. Creamy white to pale tan, they have a firm texture and a delicate flavor.
Cremini mushrooms are similar to white mushrooms but with a firmer texture and deeper flavor. Creminis are immature Portobello mushrooms. The button-like caps range from pale tan to rich brown. The stems are edible.
Portabellas have short, fat stems with a large, dark brown cap (up to 6 inches across), with a firm white flesh that has a steak-like texture, which is why they are often used in place of hamburger patties.
Shiitakes are tan to deep brown in color with spongy umbrella-looking caps. The flesh is aromatic, and tastes slightly smoky. They are best eaten cooked; the stems are tough, so are not typically eaten, but instead are used for soup stock.
Above: These mushrooms are a little more exotic but stil popular. They are sold in most markets, and are typically more expensive than the above commonly used mushrooms.
OTHER POPULAR MUSHROOMS
Chanterelles range from yellow, orange, and brown to pale white or black. The funnel-shaped caps have wrinkles instead of gills on the underside. They should be washed carefully before using.
Enoki mushrooms have long, slender stems with small, stubby caps. They have a crunchy texture and slightly fruity flavor; a very unique mushroom.
Oyster mushrooms are velvety and trumpet-shaped, and have delicate brown, gray, or reddish caps on gray-white stems. They have a peppery flavor that becomes very mild when cooked. Young, small oysters are considered the best.
Trumpet mushrooms are the largest of the oyster mushrooms, and are also known as erengi, King trumpet, French horn, or King oyster. They have thick, meaty, white stems with small, light brown caps.