Hen of the Woods – Cream of Maitake Mushroom Soup

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Bringing the Story to Life
Week 7 reading plan per day:
Click on the colored link to read each day’s scripture.
Monday (Numbers 1-4) Tuesday (Numbers 5-6)
Wednesday (Numbers 7) Thursday (Numbers 8-10)
Friday (Numbers 11-13) Saturday (Numbers 14-15)
Sunday (Numbers 16-17)

Heavenly Father, we ask that your Holy Spirit make us more aware of your great love for us as we read your truth. May we respond with grateful and worshipful lives as we recognize your care and concern for our every need. We welcome your best into our lives as we live for Your glory. In Jesus name, amen.  ©World Outreach Church

Recently friends gave us some beautiful Maitake mushrooms.  Maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa)—also known as “Hen of the Woods”—are succulent and delicious.  In the U.S.  they can be found in  Asian grocery stores.  The mushroom is known by its Japanese name “Maitake”, which means “dancing mushroom”    Our friends had special ordered them.  The seeds arrived in a block of sawdust type material.   They allowed the seeds to mature in the bag, then unwrapped and watered 2–3 times a day. Clusters of Maitake mushrooms sprung forth and we were the lucky recipients of some of the fruits of their labors.  Now … what to do with them?  I began searching for just the right recipe.  I am still making winter soup each week and so when I found a Maitake Mushroom Soup recipe I need not look any further.
This recipe begins with a saute’ of onions and garlic in olive oil and a little butter.  I added chopped mushrooms, carrots, potatoes.  This mixture began filling the house with the most wonderful of fragrances.  After this I added chicken bouillon, although the recipe called for Vegetable broth.  Either one works.  After cooking and cooling, I blended to a nice purée.  At this point the soup could be refrigerated for later use, which is what I did.  Next day I warmed up the purée, added some white wine and a bit of heavy cream and the end results were undoubtedly the best mushroom soup I have ever eaten.  My two culinary consultants agreed as we licked the bowls clean! I think this recipe would work well with just about any of your favorite mushrooms, and especially a shiitake mushroom.  The recipe called for a pound of mushrooms, I didn’t have that much but what I had worked perfect for half a recipe.

Bon Appetit !
どうぞめしあがれ (douzo meshiagare)
= ‘enjoy your meal’ – said by the cook/chef

Cream of Maitake Mushroom Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This delicious edible mushroom is known by its Japanese name "Maitake", which means "dancing mushroom". This rich, creamy full bodied soup is a complete meal in itself!
Serves: 8
  • 2 lb Hen of the Woods (Maitake) Mushroom
  • 6 cup Vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 lb Potatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 8 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sage, minced
  • 1 can White Wine
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream **
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Cracked Pepper
  1. Thoroughly clean the hen of the woods. Dry and then break apart into small pieces.
  2. Place a heavy soup pot over a medium high heat, then add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and onion. Saute' for about three to five minutes, and then add the hen of the woods to the pot, as well as the salt and pepper. Stir and cook over a medium to high heat for about 10 minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes and saute' for another five minutes or so, stirring often.
  3. Add the stock, bay leaves, thyme, and sage to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and cool down the soup slightly. Add to blender in small batches and puree until smooth. Add back into the soup pot, add the wine and lemon juice and simmer for another five minutes. At this point the soup can be refrigerated and warmed for later use. Or, if you plan to serve immediately stir in the cream and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with your favorite herbs, and serve hot!
(1)  Eight ounces of tofu blended in a little bit of the broth can be substituted for the heavy cream.  The taste and texture will not suffer at all!
(2)  If you don't have 2 lbs of mushrooms, use whatever you have and the soup will still be great.
(3)  Ingredients can be cut in half with no problem.
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10 thoughts on “Hen of the Woods – Cream of Maitake Mushroom Soup”

  1. I realize this was 3 years ago…but your ‘Hen of the Woods’ in the photo is definitely not. Griffola frondosa grows like a flower bloom without individual mushroom caps. Not sure what you have there. The recipe looked good all the same. :o)

    1. Dear Carla, Thank you for taking time to write about the Hen of the Woods. I appreciate your expertise and will definitely take a look at the picture in that post. One thing I do know – that soup is delicious! God Bless!

        1. Thank you so much for letting us know how you liked the soup. You have my taste buds remembering how good this soup is … now to find some Hen of the Woods! Have a blessed week!

  2. Can’t wait to try this I just received a gift hen of the woods about three pounds….this will be the perfect way to share it

I'd love to hear from you ~ Comments welcome!