With Soup Swap 2011 right around the corner, I’m back to blogging with my recipe for Cream of Mushroom Soup. Mushroom Soup may well come in in more variations than any other soup outside of tortilla. My recipe creates a thinner more broth than cream based soup packed with fresh mushrooms of many varieties. While it wouldn’t be a suitable layer for a green bean casserole (too thin), it makes an excellent first course. Probably the trickiest thing about this recipe is procuring the mushroom varietals. I think Whole Foods usually has the best mushroom selection, though Dallas readers would find the very best selection from Spiceman’s 1410.
Speaking of Spiceman, there is an intriguing artisan grocery delivery service which recently sprung up in Dallas. I haven’t tried the service yet, but I am curious about it. Artizone’s model allows you to purchase artisan grocery products from multiple gourmet stores in one order for home delivery. Some of the stores currently offering delivery through Artizone include, Spiceman’s 1410, La Duni, Flavors from Afar, and Scardello. Since that’s a pretty impressive list of vendors, I’ll have to give it a shot. I’ve used nearly every online grocery delivery service in existence back as early as the late 90’s, unfortunately they all tend to go bankrupt as soon as I’ve become accustomed to the service. Here’s to hoping that Artizone’s niche service will break the trend! If you’ve tried Artizone, send me a note! I’d love to hear about your experiences.
This batch of mushrooms came from Central Market. They seem hit or miss to me on what types of fresh mushrooms they will have in stock. The varieties don’t particularly matter, I’ve used all sorts over time. I look for the most tender mushrooms, (think of the opposite of the creminis, they’re the only meaty mushrooms I choose). This batch used hedgehog, brown clamshell, oyster, and creminis. At least two of those are described as being similar in flavor to chanterelle mushrooms, which are my all time favorite mushrooms, but currently out of season.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
(approx 3 qts, serves 7-8 bowl size, 10-12 cup size servings)
8 tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion (not sweet!), chopped
4 stalks chopped celery
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 lb. fresh oyster mushrooms, chopped
1/3 lb. fresh Hedgehog Mushrooms, chopped
1/3 lb. fresh Brown Clamshell Mushrooms, chopped
1 lb. cremini baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
fresh ground pepper
3/4 c. Courvoisier
6 c. chicken broth
1 c. heavy cream
Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Melt 4 tbsp of the butter then add the onions, celery, and cayenne. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook 2 minutes, then add the remaining 4 tbsp butter and all the mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms with thyme, 1 tsp of kosher salt, and 10 turns fresh ground pepper. Raise heat to high and brown about 8-10 minutes, stirring every minute or so with a wooden spatula. Add Courvoisier and cook until liquid becomes thick and syrupy, 3-4 minutes. Add stock, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Use a ladle to transfer 1/3 of soup to a blender to chop. Pour to a clean bowl, then repeat with the last two portions. Return soup to stock pot. Add cream, cook 5 more minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings. I added an additional 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and a few quick turns of pepper. Enjoy!