Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

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Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Soup recipe

Try this easy corn and shiitake mushroom soup and you’ll instantly become a fan of this recipe.

This is another dish I started making in self-defense as it was so popular with the Junior Sorority that I was spending a goodly proportion of the budget on the tinned version.  Like most Asian soups the emphasis is on fresh, which suits me just fine because that means short cooking times to leave the vegetables crisp and colorful.

A little info on the shiitake mushroom

How to recognize shiitake?

Shiitake is from the Marasmiaceae family, has a Convex cap 5-15 cm in diameter with reddish-brown color. It’s quite fleshy with tiny white woolly strands. It has tight beige-whitish lamellae, and a cylindrical, vigorous White trunk with a woolly ring. The flesh of the shiitake is whitish in color. Be careful, its mycelium is very fragile and can therefore re-seed easily.

How to grow shiitake?

The fragrant mushroom grows naturally in the Far East on the wooden trunks of various deciduous trees such as the Japanese tree shii (Castanopsis cuspidata) which is close to Oak and Beech.

The traditional culture of growing shiitake on logs is quite conceivable but in mushroom, it is cultivated in the cellar on a substrate of straw and Oak sawdust.

At home you can try the cultivation of shiitake easily. The easiest way is to get a mushroom growing kit containing mycelium on a substrate of sawdust from wood chips. Following the instructions, you will have to shear the plastic from the grow kit and place it at a very bright exposure but without direct sunlight. After several weeks, the surface should turn brown: you will then have to remove the plastic and put the growing block for 2 days in a basin of water by putting a weight on it so that it is entirely immersed.

Also Read:  Orange Vanilla Bean Mousse Recipe

At the end of the 48 hours, place the block back in its box keeping a small volume of water at the bottom to preserve a humid atmosphere. The moisture can also be effectively increased by water misting. Protect the next crop by dropping the lid without joining it: the goal is to keep a good aeration. If your growing box is placed at about 15°C, you will see a first crop of shiitake develop after about a week. Several yields will follow each other for 5-6 months on the same block.

If you can’t really grow it successfully, don’t worry, it is sold in exotic shops and food stores often dried, more rarely fresh, so you’ll never actually have a shortage of shiitake.

The broth in my version is not quite as thick as the commercial ones .. add a little creamed corn or an extra tablespoon of cornflour if it’s too thin for you.  I have included the single serve option in the notes.

Easy corn and shiitake mushroom soup recipe

Makes 4 liters (about 8 – 10 serves)

  • 500g dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3 skinless chicken breasts ( about 1kg)
  • 2 tablespoons ricebran oil
  • 5cm piece fresh root ginger OR 1½ tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large red capsicum
  • 1 bunch spring onions (about 6)
  • 1kg frozen corn
  • 1½ liters chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour

Place the dried Shiitake in a basin with the cold water. Allow to soak for at least an hour.

Cut the chicken breasts into 1 – 1.5cm cubes.  Peel and grate the ginger.  Peel and crush the garlic.

Peel and slice the spring onions finely, including a few of the green tops.  Remove the membranes and seeds from the capsicum and chop finely.

Heat the oil in the base of a large soup pot.  Fry the chicken cubes until sealed and just starting to brown.  Add the crushed garlic and ginger, fry for a further 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Add stock to pot with the frozen corn, spring onions and capsicum, bring to boil and simmer gently.

Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid in a clean basin.  Coarsely chop them then add to the pot.  Simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Mix the reserved mushroom liquid with the cornflour, stirring until smooth.  Pour the cornflour mix into the simmering soup, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn’t go lumpy. Simmer, stirring constantly until the broth has thickened slightly and is clear again.

Serve immediately.

NOTES;

  1. If you freeze the soup immediately, it will store for about 6 months
  2. I use ricebran oil to fry, but any good frying oil (such as grapeseed or peanut oil) will also work
  3. Dried Shitake are available in the gourmet or Asian groceries section of most large supermarkets, or any good Asian grocer.

SINGLE SERVE OPTION;

If you are routinely making single serve portions, keep jars or tubes of prepared garlic, chilli and ginger in the fridge.  It makes it very easy to use small portions.

  • 2 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups water
  • about 100g cooked chicken cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 small spring onion, sliced finely
  • small piece of capsicum, sliced finely
  • pinch (1/8 of a teaspoon) crushed garlic
  • pinch (1/8 of a teaspoon) crushed ginger
  • 1/3 – 1/2  cup frozen corn OR 125g tin sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour

Soak the mushrooms in the cold water until soft.  Drain the liquid into a saucepan, add the chicken and vegetables. Chop the mushrooms and add to the pan with he crumbled stock cube.

Heat until just boiling. Turn heat down and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir cornflour into a couple of tablespoons of water. Stir into the soup until thickened slightly.  Serve immediately.

Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups water
  • about 100g cooked chicken cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 small spring onion, sliced finely
  • small piece of capsicum, sliced finely
  • pinch (1/8 of a teaspoon) crushed garlic
  • pinch (1/8 of a teaspoon) crushed ginger
  • ⅓ – ½  cup frozen corn OR 125g tin sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
Instructions
  1. Soak the mushrooms in the cold water until soft. Drain the liquid into a saucepan, add the chicken and vegetables. Chop the mushrooms and add to the pan witht he crumbled stock cube.
  2. Heat until just boiling. Turn heat down and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Stir cornflour into a couple of tablespoons of water. Stir into the soup until thickened slightly. Serve immediately.
 

Also check my easy Tuscan vegetable soup. and Florentine potato soup recipe.

Enjoy!

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