Wild Mushroom Soup

Soup / Thursday, November 1st, 2012

You never hear of anyone making cream of mushroom soup.

Maybe that’s because most of us grew up seeing it blopped straight from the can to the casserole, this grayish paste flecked with gray-brown bits, thick enough to spackle drywall.

The soup equivalent of granny panties. Not sexy.

It’s time to take it back.

This homemade Wild Mushroom Soup is flavorful, velvety and unapologetically ‘shroomy. You know all those times when you wanted mushrooms on your pizza, but the ‘shroom-haters shamed you out of them? Those mushrooms are in this soup. A whole big, beautiful pound of them.

Just sweat the mushrooms and onion in a little melted butter, add flour for thickening, pour in the broth, and simmer it with ground pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice and sherry (if you like). Then, to finish the soup and bring everything together, add a few tablespoons of cream and a pinch of cayenne. A little naughty to balance all that nice, you sexy thing.

Wild Mushroom Soup

If you can’t find shiitakes (or if they’re pricey), feel free to use 1 pound of cremini or white button mushrooms instead. At my grocery, the cremini mushrooms are labeled as “baby bellas.”

Slightly adapted from Rebecca Rather’s “The Pastry Queen”

Makes 4 big bowls

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Garnish: chopped fresh chives
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven.
  2. Add the onion, and cook until soft and transparent.
  3. Add all the mushrooms, and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. Return the pan to low heat, and pour in the broth, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice, and sherry (if using).
  7. Simmer the soup over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the cream, and stir until the soup is hot.
  9. Add the cayenne, and season with salt, if needed.
  10. Transfer to serving bowls, and garnish with chives.
Note: If the soup seems thin, use an immersion blender or food processor to blend half the soup and stir it back into the pot.

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