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The Pandemic Pantry: Caramelized Onion and Oyster Mushroom Soup

Fungi are full of medicinal properties.
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Texas Fungus Mushrooms
Kelsey Foster Wilson

Shrooms aren’t just for tripping. They are packed with antioxidants. Assuming they were grown outside, a 100-gram serving can contain a full day’s dosage of vitamin D. They’re high in fiber and low in fat. They contain healthy minerals and nutrients like selenium, copper, niacin, phosphorous, and potassium, and they’ve been linked to lower rates of cancer and heart disease. So there’s never been a better time to eat them by the pound.

Jordan Jent, co-owner of Texas Fungus, began growing mushrooms in his garage in 2016. He now has a 2,000-square-foot facility in Arlington that, until recently, primarily served the local restaurant industry. But with restaurant demand in decline, he wants to share his product with the public. He’s got three kinds of oyster mushrooms in stock, along with Lion’s Mane and Coral Tooth, all of which he’s offering for $15 per pound, up to 50 percent off the usual price.

Contact his farm for purchase options, or this weekend you can find Texas Fungus at the Dallas Farmers Market and the Good Local Markets in Lakewood and at White Rock Lake.

Make good use of your mushroom haul in this slow-cooking, soul-satisfying soup inspired by one from the Silver Oak Cookbook (they recommend serving it with a nice Twomey Pinot Noir or Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet). If you’re like me, you’ve shed a few tears this week. So it’s the perfect time to chop a pound of onions and have an excuse to shamelessly shed a few more.


Caramelized Onion and Oyster Mushroom Soup


1 1/2 pounds of yellow onions
1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms (can be a mix of cremini, chanterelles, oyster, or whatever you have on hand)
Olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 cups of beef or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves


Peel and thinly slice the onions. If you’re using button, cremini, or another type of firm mushroom, trim the stems and slice crosswise. If you are using oyster or chanterelle mushrooms, trim the stems and tear into bite-size pieces by hand. This will give you rustic and beautifully caramelized pieces.

Heat a stock pot over medium-high heat. Working in small batches so as not to crowd the pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and a handful or two of mushrooms. Sear the mushrooms for a couple of minutes — without stirring — until golden. Transfer mushrooms to a plate. Repeat until all of the mushrooms have been browned.

Add all of  the onions to the pot with no additional oil, and sear without stirring for about 1 minute. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to caramelize. Add a tablespoon of oil and 1/4 cup of water. Stir the onions to release any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are nicely browned and the pan is dry, about 30 minutes. Add a 1/2 cup water and continue to cook and stir occasionally until the onions are dark brown, about 30 more minutes.

Add thyme, a teaspoon of salt, and the mushrooms. Add stock and bay leaves. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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