Old Man of The Woods Soup Recipe

Mushrooms come in different shapes and sizes. But occasionally, on your stroll in the woods, you may come across a mushroom that resembles a pine cone. If so, then you may know what the Old Man of the Woods mushroom looks like.

That aside, what are some distinguishing characteristics of the Old Man of the Woods? How do you prepare this mushroom? 

This article will look at how to prepare an old man of the woods soup recipe.


Key Takeaways

  • Old Man of the Woods is a common mushroom that looks like a pine cone.
  • This is an edible mushroom that can be cooked by itself or added to soups for extra flavor. It’s important, however, to always cook it before eating it.
  • Do not eat this mushroom until you can confirm it’s actually an Old Man of the Woods. Similar mushrooms can be poisonous and even deadly.


What is Old Man of the Woods?

The Old Man of the Woods mushroom is an edible mushroom that resembles a pine cone. Its scientific name is Strobilomyces floccopus, which roughly translates to "Woolly mushroom that looks like a pine cone." It is sometimes called Strobilomyces strobilaceous.

The fungus has a unique look in its white, black, and grey colors. It is wooly and scaly, with an overall shaggy look. It is, therefore, said to look like an old man living in the woods with a shaggy gray beard and wrinkly face.

When the Old Man of the Woods mushroom is cut open, its flesh is white. It then turns pinkish red and then blackens slowly in about 60 minutes.


Can you Cook with Old Man of the Woods?

Yes, you can cook the Old Man of the Woods mushroom beside your meals if not alone. Just like most mushrooms, it is healthy. However, no studies prove that this fungus contains any specific medicinal benefits.

When choosing the Old Man of the Woods mushroom to cook, we recommend picking the young ones. If you leave it to mature, then this mushroom can be crusty and tasteless. You can cook it just like any other mushroom.

Try cooking it in different ways. You can sauté it in butter and garlic, or add it to soups or gravies. Remember that you must cook the Old Man of the Woods mushroom before eating. However, you can eat it with cooked or uncooked meals.

It tastes and smells like a mushroom bought in stores. Some people do not like its taste, probably due to its similarity to the "meaty" Portobello. Others find that it tastes like ground, in that when it is pressed, it has a woodsy, spicy aroma.

Note that Old Man of the Woods tends to darken whatever you cook it with. It is almost like when you prepare mushroom risotto with Portobellos. This is normal and not necessarily a bad thing.


Old Man of the Woods Soup Recipe

What is the next step after picking the Old Man of the Woods mushrooms? Depending on how you want to consume this fungus, your recipe may differ. If you want to try the Old Man of the Woods mushroom soup, then follow this recipe:

Equipment Needed

  •   Large pot
  •   A small bowl
  •   Whisk


  • Four tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • A cup of milk
  • Two cups chopped onions
  • One pound sliced Old Man of the Woods mushrooms
  • Two teaspoons of dried dill weed
  • One tablespoon of soy sauce
  • Two cups chicken broth
  • One tablespoon of paprika
  • Three tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • A tablespoon of salt
  • Ground black pepper for taste
  • Two teaspoons of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup sour cream

Steps to Follow:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the dill, paprika, soy sauce, and broth.
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together.
  6. Pour this into the soup and stir well to blend.
  7. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Finally, stir in the salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, parsley, and sour cream.
  9. Mix and allow it to heat through over low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not boil.
  10. Serve immediately.

This recipe requires about fifty minutes, where 15 minutes are for preparation. Cooking will take approximately 30 minutes. The ingredients are all locally available at affordable prices in your local stores. Also, it makes a total of six servings.


What are the Benefits of The Old Man of the Woods Mushroom?

Like any other mushroom, the Old Man of the Woods has multiple health benefits. It contains antioxidant properties and is high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. In addition, it is low in calories and sodium with no fat or cholesterol.

Mushrooms also boost flavor and texture in both raw and uncooked meals.


How to Identify Old Man of the Woods?

The Old Man of the Woods has a cap with a convex shape that measures between six to twelve inches. As it grows, the convex cap becomes flatter and firmer. It is dry and resembles bread that has been scored and then baked in the oven.

On the stem, this fungus has a shaggy look, with grayish pores on the underside. The stem is 1- 2 centimeters in diameter and up to 14 centimeters in height. It has grey tufts and may have remains of skirting from the cap, from when it was young.

An easy way to identify the Old Man of the Woods is when you cut it open. It turns from white to a pinkish-red color almost immediately and later darkens, almost black. Also, it has wooly scales, which some people describe as feathery.

Old Man of the Woods is a mycorrhizal mushroom. Mycorrhizal mushrooms have a symbiotic relationship with plants, especially trees. The mushroom and the tree grow alongside each other while benefitting from each other.

The subterranean hyphae form sheaths around the roots and somehow penetrate them. The surface area of the roots, in turn, increases, and their ability to absorb water and nutrients also increases. The fungus, on the other hand, benefits by having access to sugars and amino acids in the roots.

Therefore, the fungus does not grow on dead or decaying material. Instead, it grows closer to trees covering the surface of their roots using its netlike fibers. The surface area of the tree's roots increases, allowing the tree to absorb better water and nutrients.

You might want to confirm whether the Old Man of the Woods is a rarity in your area before picking. If so, consider leaving it to grow and propagate instead of picking it. Also, be careful when picking Strobilaceous out in the wild.

Mushrooms that may be confused with this fungus include Strobilomyces, which has a smaller cap. Strobilomyces dryophilus is also quite similar to it but has a pink-grey color.

Warning: Do not eat things you do not know. Falsely identifying a mushroom may be brutal since some mushrooms are poisonous. When picking boletus mushrooms, for instance, you want to avoid those that stain blue when cut or bruised.


Where can You Find the Old Man of the Woods Mushrooms?

The fungus tends to grow during the hot period of summer. It is common in forests, low mountain ranges, and hilly areas. You find that it grows as a single mushroom and blends with dead leaves.

Hence, its original name refers to the fact that it looks more like a rotting pine cone than a mushroom. It is common on the ground in mixed hardwood forests and sometimes under a conifer. It especially likes oak trees.

This mushroom grows from July to October in North America, especially in Eastern North America. You can also find it in some parts of Europe.


The Science behind Strobilomyces Strobilaceus and its Ecology

The scientific name of the Old Man of the Woods describes its appearance. "Strobilomyces" is an ancient Greek word. "Strobilos" means "Pine cone," and "myces" is a standard suffix meaning mushroom.

Strobiloyces strobilaceus falls under Boletus, a classification of mushrooms distinguished by the absence of gills on the underside. There are over 100 mushrooms that fall in this genus, some of which are edible and tasty. Some are bitter, and others poisonous.

When it comes to its ecology, the Strobiloyces strobilaceus is quite complex. It is broadly distributed and has a crucial ecological function.


What are the Side Effects and Toxicity of Old Man of the Woods?

The Old Man of the Woods is not poisonous. There have not been any scientific reports that indicate the toxicity of this mushroom. However, we still recommend caution when trying a new mushroom. If there is any doubt, seek medical advice before consumption.



The Old Man of the Woods mushroom is easy to identify. If there are gills present, you should avoid them because you picked the wrong mushroom. In addition, if you fail to identify this fungus, or are in doubt, then consult a professional mycologist.


For more information on the Old Man of the Woods, watch the following video:

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