With its big, fluffy leaves tucked in a bush, rhubarb is quite an interesting perennial plant, and in a way it is also a unique plant among all the other plants we use for cooking, because no other plant I can think of has only stalks eatable; some people consider it a vegetable, while in some countries it is classified as a fruit. Rhubarb is also one of those crazy plants that grow better in countries with colder climate, like Germany or Canada, where it is beautifying many garden corners and its distinctive zesty flavor enriches grandmothers’ cakes, muffins, pies and other desserts. Many of us had the privilege to taste some of those sweet goodies, mainly combining rhubarb with one or two fruit kinds, but unique taste of rhubarb almost never enter our savory dishes, though its flavor can be combined with almost any vegetable with a great success.
I love to make rhubarb jam, and classic rhubarb and strawberry pie, but I especially love to make savory rhubarb recipes – like this lovely rhubarb mushroom soup. Needles to say, this savory rhubarb soup is my trump card when I want to impress or surprise someone; rich and earthy mushroom flavor merged with zesty taste of rhubarb makes this creamy soup delightful and refreshing, and people sitting at your table will wonder what’s the secret ingredient that tingles their palate. Well, if they’re from Germany or Canada, they will probably know about this plant, but most of the people that tried this rhubarb soup were intrigued by the taste and story about the red stamps plant. I love to make rhubarb mushroom soup especially during those cold, rainy days, served hot with just few pieces of lightly toasted artisan bread.
Rhubarb mushroom soup recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 larger onion
- 200 grams / rhubarb stalks
- 400 grams / mixed mushrooms
- 2 larger or 3 smaller potatoes
- 1 liter / 4 cups water
- ½ liter / 2 cups vegetable stock * this step is optional; I love rhubarb soup with and without vegetable stock equally
- 100 grams crème fraiche *but any thicker cream will be good, too
- about ½ tablespoon ground pepper, or to taste
- about 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
- larger soup pot
- sharp knife
- cutting board
- vegetable peeler
- Wash and peal onion, potatoes and rhubarb. Clean mushrooms, and if you’re using button mushrooms, peel the rough outer skin off. Slice the onion and mushrooms and cut rhubarb and potatoes into small cubes. Chop dill finely.
- Heat the oil in a soup pot; add onion, cover with lid and sauté for a few minutes, until soft. Add mushrooms and sauté for few additional minutes.
- Pour in water and vegetable stock, add potatoes and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes become completely soft.
- Take few cubes of potatoes out and mash them with a fork, add them back to the soup.
- Add rhubarb, salt and pepper and cook additional 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, pour the sour cream in, add dill, cover with lid and let it cool for a few minutes while you toast some bread - ciabatta will be a great choice.
- Serve warm…
* Caution: Rhubarb leaves, root, seeds and flowers are not eatable; they contain calcium oxalates crystals which can cause gastro-intestinal bleeding. Only stalks are good for our stomach and this soup :)