Mushroom soup is one of the few things I was able to prepare all by myself even as a teenager. I made it million times, with a vastly ranging success, I have to admit. But few tricks, that make it rich, velvety and absolutely irresistible every time, are a recent discovery of mine, so that’s why I decided to share them with you.
It was a rainy week and we really wanted to go out foraging, but… we found some fresh wild mushrooms in the local grocery store, so I had my crispy fresh inspiration to try this recipe. I found it long time ago in a cookbook (French food and cooking, Carole Clements & Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen) and I’m really happy I gave it a chance.
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour
900g mushrooms mix – wild and cultivated* 1l/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock 30g/2 tbsp butter 2 onions, coarsely chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped ½ tbsp dried thyme ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 30g/2 tbsp all-purpose flour 125ml/ ½ cup Madeira dry sherry**
125ml/ ½ cup half and half cream or sour cream
*We mixed a small quantity of frozen chopped porcini, fresh cultivated chestnut mushrooms and 1/3 fresh wild chanterelles. If fresh are not available, use some dried wild mushrooms, such as porcini or morels – just rinse them in a sieve under the cold water to remove as much sand as possible. Then cover with 1 cup of the hot stock and leave to soak for 15-20 minutes.
**I used Marsala and I think it is quite good substitution in this case.
In a large heavy pan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook them for 5 minutes, until well softened and just golden.
Stir in the garlic and fresh and frozen sliced mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften, and then add salt, some freshly ground pepper, nutmeg and thyme. Sprinkle over the flour and stirring frequently cook for 3-4 more minutes.
Add the Madeira or Marsala, the remaining chicken stock and the dried mushrooms with their soaking liquid, if using them. Cook covered over medium – low heat for 30-40 minutes, until the mushrooms are very tender.
You can puree the soup in a food processor or serve it chunky, as we prefer. Before serving just stir in the cream. Serve warm, with homemade crusty bread or Parmesan crackers.