loading

Calvatia Gigantea, commonly called the giant puffball, is a puffball mushroom found in meadows, fields, and forests usually in late summer to autumn. It can be found in mostly temperate areas throughout the world.

These mushrooms are big the one I have is about ten inches across and 2 kilograms and the one my son Joshua has is 16 inches and 3 ½ kilograms, they have been known to grow up to 20 kilograms, I found these when I was checking on the Highbush Cranberries near my home.

Since one of these mushrooms can easily feed twenty people and my family of four is much less, I will be dicing up the whole mushroom for soup and after dinner, freezing and canning the rest of the soup for later.

Step 1: Gathering the Puffballs

I found these in a lightly wooded aria growing among the sparse under growth, they looked like white footballs sitting on the forest floor.

A good puffball; is firm like a melon and if you tap it, it makes a thump just like a melon. When you cut it open the meat should be a solid white, dry to the touch, with no indication of gills.

However if the puffball is even slightly soft it has gone to spore and the insides will be dark and wet. If you eat a puffball that has gone to spore it will cause you intestinal distress.

Step 2: Ingredients

1 Giant Puffball Skinned and Diced

2 cups diced onion.

2 cups diced celery.

6 tablespoons butter

8 cups (2 liters) chicken broth.

½ teaspoon dried thyme.

1 teaspoon salt.

1 teaspoon ground black pepper.

1 teaspoon dried chives.

1 teaspoon dried parsley.

2 cups (1/2 liter) Crème Fraîche or Heavy Cream

6 tablespoons All-purpose Flour

Step 3: Directions First Step

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Ready in about 1 hour

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in medium sized stock pot, and saute onion and celery until tender.

Add 8 cups (2 liters) chicken broth and let simmer while you prepair the puffball.

Skin the puffball; this is easy, the outer skin of the puffball peels off just like a banana.

Then slice and dice the puffball to your hearts content.

Add the diced puffball to the broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Directions Second Step

After simmering for 10 minutes the puffball should be cooked and the pieces of puffball should not be floating.

Using a hand blender I puree the soup right in the cooking pot.

In small saucepan, over medium-heat melt 3 tablespoons butter, stir in flour and add milk. Stir until thick and bubbly, and add to soup.

Season with salt, pepper, chives, parsley and thyme.

Step 5: Serve

Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve with crackers or toast.

Since two gallons of soup is more than we can consume in a single sitting I froze a couple meals and canned single servings for later.

Step 6: Cold Canning

Cold canning is a little different; most canning you can store your preserves at room temperature for long periods of time before use. With cold canning you just pasteurize the soup and keep the soup refrigerated for shorter periods of time before use.

Start by preparing your jars for canning by washing and sterilizing.

Fill the jars to just ¼ of an inch from the top of the jar.

Place the lids on the jars loosely so that as you heat the jars the hot air and steam can escape.

Step 7: Cooking and Sealing

Since the mushroom soup is already cooked you don’t need to cook the contents other than to be sure the contents are sterile.

Place the jars in a pot large enough to hold the jars with a bit of space between them and tall enough to cover the jars up to the lid with water. I used a frying pan just for the picks.

Boil the water for five to ten minutes until the lids seal.

Make sure the screw lids are tight and let cool on a rack.

When cool, store in the refrigerator up to two months until you use them.

<p>Is there anything that looks like a puff ball that I should not eat? </p>
<p>Yes there is one lookalike, immature death caps about the size of your fist are similar in appearance to small puffballs before the death cap opens, however when you cut death caps open you can see gills inside. Puffballs are solid white meat when you cut them open.</p><p>By the way they are called death caps for good reason 50% of all mushroom poisoning deaths is caused by death caps. At first they look like a small puffball, next they look like a meadow mushroom. </p>
<p>this might be why my mother told me that all mushrooms were poisonous unless you got them from the grocery store. </p>
<p>All food came from the wild at one time or another.</p>
<p>good point. I will start looking for puff balls as soon as the weather changes.</p>
<p>You might like this group at facebook:</p><p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/MushroomID/">https://www.facebook.com/groups/MushroomID/</a></p>
<p>I try to avoid facebook but thank you anyway. Maybe someone else will check it out.</p>
<p>never heard or seen these may have to start keeping my eye out for them.</p>
<p>Wow I have never heard of a puffball. The soup looks so good!</p>
<p>Thanks; it is a very good soup, my oldest son loves it when I go mushroom picking.</p>
<p>I didn't take pictures of the soup, but it is wonderful! A great way to use these behemoths. The soup was delicious! We will make it again next year. (We didn't have thyme so I subbed in herbs de provence)</p>
<p>They look lovely. </p>
We found a few tiny ones, haha! Making the soup now! Should feed us through winter :)
<p>I skipped the Cr&egrave;me Fra&icirc;che (might try serving it with a dollop of a local 6% fat yogurt), used double the (veggie) stock, used oregano as I am out of thyme, no flour but about 1/4 cup of butter, doubled the onion and added 1/2 a bubble of garlic. It is gorgeous. When it cools down I will throw a fair bit of it into the freezer. </p>
<p>Yea it's fun to play with recipes and it is almost impossible to mess it up as long as you don't burn it. </p>
<p>I have two giant puff ball sitting on my kitchen counter. I just finished frying some of it up. What can I do with the rest of it. Soup? Thanks for the recipe. I am not good at following other peoples recipe but your recipe gives me a good place to start. Thank you for posting it. Oh ya, it is on the stove.</p>
<p>You can cook it and freeze it for later.</p><p>I suggest boiling it so you can make soups if you choose just use a minimum of water so you can boil it off if you want to use it in a fried dish later.</p>
Great ible! Mmm wish that I could taste this soup, I don't think they grow in my area.
<p>Thanks it was a very tasty soup.</p><p>Variations of the giant puffball grows all over the northern hemisphere in moist environments most are edible but they can be misidentified. That is why I said it should have no indication of gills when you cut it open in step 1.</p>
<p>I never screw the lids on tight until I take it out of the boiling water, I just screw the caps on enough to hold the seal in place.</p><p>The lids can blow if you screw them on to tight and the expanding steam cannot escape. </p>
<p>Thanks much. This is not one of my favorite mushrooms. Seems a little bland to me. Now maybe I'll have a good use for them!</p>
<p>They are a little bland but they make a good cream of mushroom soup, My favorite for omelettes are shaggy ink caps, loads of flavor in them. </p>
<p>I like the ible and voted for you. </p><p>Celery the third stool leg of a good soup.</p><p>Understanding the dangers of poison I'm impressed with your mushroom knowledge and until now had no idea these amazing Puff Balls were edible.</p>

About This Instructable

4,436views

31favorites

License:

Bio: I am a photographer, a tinker, an electronics technology engineer, and author; I write short stories and poetry for the love of writing. I started ... More »
More by Josehf Murchison:Programming Arduino With a Sainsmart UNO  Testing a Graphic LCD Module Grapefruit and Clementine Marmalade 
Add instructable to: