Creamy Mushroom Soup

By October 8, 2011September 19th, 2019Cuisine, Uncategorized

As they so often do, the Test Kitchen crowd completely changed the way I thought about creamy mushroom soup. 

Creamy-Mushroom-Soup2-300x199

I was skeptical about their no-hassle/white mushroom approach, having been a devotee of Julia’s (Child, obviously, not Collin-Davis) roux based/tarragon infused elixir for lo these many years.

I made a tentative batch, just to see, and, being me, I just couldn’t leave it alone.  I added a little bit of this, a pinch of that and here is the result:  a smooth and creamy Test Kitchen base with a little help and inspiration from the Silver Palate and a little Russian Mushroom lore picked up at the feet of the Dorogomilovsky sages, and a handy bunch of thyme in the vegetable drawer.

The base of this freezes beautifully!

Creamy Mushroom Soup:

As they so often do, the Test Kitchen crowd completely changed the way I thought about creamy mushroom soup.  I was skeptical about their no-hassle/white mushroom approach, having been a devotee of Julia’s roux based/tarragon infused elixir for lo these many years.

I made a tentative batch, just to see, and, being me, I just couldn’t leave it alone.  I added a little bit of this, a pinch of that and here is the result:  a smooth and creamy Test Kitchen base with a little help and inspiration from the Silver Palate and a little Russian Mushroom lore picked up at the feet of the Dorogomilovsky sages, and a handy bunch of thyme in the vegetable drawer.

The base of this freezes beautifully!

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • 250 ml (1 cup) of finely minced shallots*
  • 125 g (4 oz) of dried mushrooms (shitake, morels, chanterelles or cepes)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) of Madeira Wine (in a pinch, dry white wine will do)
  • 120 g (8 Tbl) of sweet butter
  • 250 ml (1 cup) of carefully washed and diced leeks
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1 kg (2 ¼ pounds) of fresh mushrooms
  • 500 ml (2 cups) of water
  • 1 liter (1 quart) of chicken stock
  • 30 ml (2 Tbl ) of freshly chopped parsley
  • 30 ml (2 Tbl) of fresh thyme
  • 60 ml (1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 475 ml (1 pint) of heavy cream (33%)

*yellow onions will do in a pinch if you can’t find the shallots or can’t be bothered. They are worth a trip to Globus Gourmet though, because the flavor can’t be beat.

Instructions

  • Clean the dried mushrooms under cold running water in a colander, then set them to soak in the Madeira for at least one hour.  Stir frequently to ensure the mushrooms absorb the liquid on all sides.  Set aside.
  • Trim the fresh mushrooms, using a damp paper towel to wipe off dirt from the caps.  Slice the mushrooms thinly.  Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch Oven until it bubbles.  Add the shallots and sauté until they are golden.  Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.  Add the leeks and sauté the mixture of aromatics for approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and cook, uncovered for 20 minutes on low heat.
  • Extract the dried mushrooms carefully from the Madeira with a slotted spoon or through a sieve, taking care to retain the Madeira.  Add the re-hydrated mushrooms to the soup pot.  Allow any accumulated grit to settle, then pour the Madeira carefully into the pot, leaving the grit behind.  You can also strain the Madeira through cheesecloth or clean dishtowel.
  • Add the stock and water to the soup pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer gently for 45 minutes until the mushrooms are very tender.
  • Puree the soup in even batches in a blender, and return to a clean pot.
  • Add the lemon juice, parsley and thyme.  Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
  • At this point, you can freeze the base, or set aside to be served later.  Just before serving, heat the base through, then add the heavy cream, stirring all the time to ensure that the cream does not curdle.

Garnish with sautéed mushrooms, fresh parsley or a dollop of crème fraiche…or indeed all of the above.

Variations:

  • Serve this to guests with cocktails in little shot glasses as they arrive for a dinner party, or as part of a mezze first course.
  • For a different texture, strain and reserve the liquids after Step 6.  Place the solids into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse 4-6 times.  Return both solids and liquids to the pot, then thicken with cream.
  • If you are a vegetarian, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock, but increase the amount of Madeira to 300 ml and add a few more dried mushrooms to boost the flavor.

Serve, and enjoy!

For the video that inspired this recipe, log on to America’s Test Kitchen.

Recipe also adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook.

Serve, and enjoy!

  1. Serve this to guests with cocktails in little shot glasses as they arrive for a dinner party, or as part of a mezze first course.
  2. For a different texture, strain and reserve the liquids after Step 6.  Place the solids into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse 4-6 times.  Return both solids and liquids to the pot, then thicken with cream.
  3. If you are a vegetarian, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock, but increase the amount of Madeira to 300 ml and add a few more dried mushrooms to boost the flavor.

For the video that inspired this recipe, log on to America’s Test Kitchen.

Recipe also adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook.

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