During the holidays, it's always fun to have elaborate dinners with multiple courses to celebrate the season and spend even more time around the table with your loved ones. Tease everyone's palate before the big meal with one of my family's traditions: cream of mushroom soup. You can make this recipe pretty inexpensively by sticking to button mushrooms, but if you're in the mood to go all out, pick up different varieties. I opted to use mostly button mushrooms but also added chanterelles for more complexity.
The holiday meals can always be stressful getting everything ready, but this soup can be made a couple days in advance and easily reheated on the stove just before serving. If you decide to bring the soup to the table, be sure to heat up your soup terrine in hot water to keep the soup piping hot. Keep the garnish really simple with a little parsley, chives, a slice or two of sautéed mushrooms, and a drizzle of truffle oil.
Don't skip the soup course this holiday season and keep reading for the recipe.
6 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces button mushrooms
5 ounces chanterelle mushrooms
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 ounces high-quality sherry (don't use the cheap grocery-store variety; it's salty and unappetizing and will ruin your soup) or quality Cognac
1/4 cup cream
1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons black truffle oil
This recipe was originally just a mushroom soup, but for a little more texture and richness, I added cream and extra garnish.
- In the medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, then add all of the mushrooms and the remaining butter.
- Let the mixture sweat for about 8 minutes, taking care that the onion doesn't take on any brown color. If desired, set aside about 2 tablespoons of the mushrooms for garnish. Stir in the chicken stock and the about 3/4 of the parsley and bring to a boil. Since the parsley will be removed, use either cheese cloth or stuff the leaves into a tea steeper before placing in the pan. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour.
- After an hour, remove the parsley and discard. Let the soup cool for a few minutes, then transfer to the blender and carefully blend at high speed until smooth. Do I have to remind you to do this in stages, with the blender's lid firmly held down, and with the weight of your body keeping that thing from flying off and allowing boiling hot mushroom purée to erupt all over your kitchen.
- When blended, return the mix to the pot, add cream and season with salt and pepper, and bring up to a low simmer again. Add the sherry or cognac, mix well, and serve immediately.
- Serve the soup topped with the mushroom you have set aside, chives and remaining parsley. If desired, drizzle a couple drops of truffle oil just before serving.
Serves 4-6 people.
- Soups/Stews, Cream