Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of mushroom soup has been on my to-do list for so long it’s almost silly. I finally was seduced by some prefect mushrooms at the marché, had a stash of dried mushrooms at home and a freezer full of chicken stock. Serves 6:

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms (porcini, morels, or shitakes)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 pounds mushrooms. Can be white button, cremini, shitake or a mix. Cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Crème fraîche or sour cream for garnish (optional)

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes, until plump. Remove them from the liquid and mince the mushrooms, setting them aside. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter to remove grit and reserve this too.

Tie your thyme together with kitchen twine. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the herb bundle and sizzle for a few minutes on both sides to infuse the oil. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Turn the heat to high and add the fresh mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes, during which the mushrooms will give off their liquid and deflate significantly. Stir occasionally.

Add the chicken stock and the dried mushrooms along with their soaking water. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the herbs, then add the cream and butter. Working in batches, puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until it reaches your desired consistency, or fully smooth (this can also be done in a blender). Keep at a very low simmer until ready to serve. Garnish with crème fraîche, serve and enjoy!

My verdict:

This was so good, I was crazy for not making it sooner! I wanted to find some black truffle bits to garnish it with, but by the time the truffle store had opened, the soup was long gone. However, a bit of black truffle and crème fraîche to garnish it would never be a bad idea.

I’ve started keeping some dried mushrooms on hand. They come in handy for enriching dishes like this soup, and risottos, but this would be fine with nothing but fresh mushrooms.

And Julia Child would not be pleased, but I had no white pepper.