While growing up, one of the best delicacies prepared in our homes is mushroom soup. Mushroom, also known as a toadstool, is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus. It is produced above ground, on soil, or on its source of food such as wood.
One major fact about mushrooms is that they are not all edible. Some species are poisonous and so cannot be eaten. Although it is difficult to spot the edible ones, mycologists most times can differentiate them. My dad, who told me he was a mushroom picker as a kid said a local fowl can be used to test for the edible mushrooms; fowls won’t eat the poisonous ones but will eat the edible mushrooms.
One of the most widely cultivated and popular mushrooms in the world is Agaricus bisporus. It is considered safe for most people to eat because it is grown in controlled and sterilized environments.
Read also: NIGERIAN LOCAL FOOD: EGIDI (POUNDED MAIZE)
Mushrooms are used extensively in cooking, in many cuisines (notably Chinese, Korean, European, and Japanese). Nigerians are not left out in using this fungus in their delicacies. They are handpicked from where they are grown and are sold in markets. Mushrooms are nutritious and contain carbohydrates, protein, large quantities of vitamins (no vitamin C), and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc). It is very soft and tasty when eaten.
The ingredient includes mushrooms, ground pepper, ground tomato, sliced onions, palm oil, stock cubes, beef, and salt to taste.
It is very important to wash the mushroom very well before cooking. Some mushrooms may have maggots in them, so it is safe to clean with a saline (salt and water) solution. It can be soaked for 20-30 minutes in which all other organisms in it will die and then can be washed and rinsed thoroughly in clean water. It can then be cut into smaller sizes. The beef should also be prepared by washing thoroughly too.
Boil the beef with stock cubes, onion, and salt. When it is done, set aside. Heat your palm oil in a pot on medium heat. Then turn the ground pepper, ground tomato, and sliced onions into it. Stock from the beef can be added. Introduce the meat and test for taste. Add the mushrooms and then cover for about 10-15 minutes. Allow simmering, after this, your mushroom soup is done and ready to be served.
Mushroom can also be added to various delicacies of vegetables. The soup can be used to eat rice, pounded yam, tuwo, fufu, eba, and so on. Give this soup a trial and you’ll be glad you did. Enjoy with any drink of your choice. Bon appetite.