Chanterelle Mushroom Chowder

Chanterelle Chowder

It seems everything, garden-wise, is coming early this year. Asparagus was a full month behind schedule, peaches and nectarines (the best I’ve had) were ready to go in July when we drove through the southern BC interior, and blackberries were already ripe when we arrived in Tofino. We’ve been coming out to the coast for about 20 years (my parents built a house there 10 years ago) and last year was the first time blackberries were ready to pick before we headed home mid-August. This year they were even earlier, and – there were chanterelles to be had.

Foraging with chef Ian Riddick

I went out to forage for them one morning with chef Ian Riddick and a few of the chefs at the Long Beach Lodge, and Anita Stewart, who was in town to celebrate Food Day Canada. I can’t share the exact location – foragers are very protective of their spots – but although it had been dry, we hunted for pale apricot-coloured caps among the decomposing tree stubs on the forest floor and discovered enough, mostly in clusters, never cutting any that were smaller than a quarter, to fill three small baskets.

Foraging with Anita

I brought the boys out a second time, this time to a new spot, and although about a pound went to the chefs at the Wick, we had enough to sauté in butter to eat on toast and pizza and in omelettes and soup. I made this chowder twice – once with corn, once without – but you don’t need to go foraging to make it. If you don’t have access to fresh chanterelles, which have a smooth texture and slightly citrusy flavour, use a big handful or two of whatever mushrooms you happen to have.

Chanterelle Mushroom Chowder


August 22, 2016


Canola or olive oil, for cooking

4-6 slices bacon, chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. butter

2 cups fresh chanterelles, the big ones chopped or halved

2 Tbsp. flour

3-4 cups chicken stock

1 corn on the cob, kernels cut off (optional)

2 small thin-skinned potatoes, diced

a couple sprigs of thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half


1In a medium pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and cook the bacon and onions for 5-6 minutes, until the onions are soft and the bacon is cooked through. Add the butter and chanterelles (drain some of the drippings off if there’s a lot) and cook until the mushrooms soften and start to turn golden on the edges.

2Shake the flour over the onions and mushrooms and stir to coat. Add the chicken stock, corn, potatoes and the thyme leaves (pull them off the stems) and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine everything well. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the soup thickens and the potatoes are tender.

3Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cream. Serves 4.


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One comment

  1. Ginette Duquette
    August 29, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Wow ! il love the chanterelles.

    Je vais essayer votre recette. Merci

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