This recipe resembles the bisque that you might create with lobster or salmon, but instead it uses chantrelles and Russula xerampolina. These two mushrooms occur in Northern California around the same time of year, often nearby each other, so it is possible to use them fresh together. Any dried or fresh "fishy" mushroom like Amanita velosa, Amanita pachycholea or Amanita ceasara could substitute. This soup has many ingredients, and there is a risk that the taste of the chantrelles can get lost. If you have good young chantrelles, this shouldn't be a problem, but if they are more mature or larger specimens, you could tone down some of the spices so their flavor comes through better.
Heat in a large stock pot:
Bring the broth to a very light boil on low heat. While waiting for this to heat, prepare the following:
Sauté the above ingredients together until the onion is translucent. Add the sautéed vegetables to the stock pot and continue heating, along with the addition of:
Allow the broth to simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes. At this point, remove it from heat and place in a blender, a few cups at a time, blending it to a smooth consistency. Replace the stock to the pot and maintain warmth on low heat..
Separately prepare the mushrooms as follows:
Cook the mushrooms on medium heat for about five minutes in a sauté pan until most of the moisture is absorbed. Reserve a few mushrooms for topping the soup. Add the remaining mushrooms to the soup stock and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. While heating, add:
Serve into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining mushrooms, and garnish with a bit of chopped tarragon.
Serves 6-8 people.