Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Mushrooms are my great weakness. Where others lose control over cakes and pizzas, I cave to mushrooms. Fortunately, they are often too expensive for me to purchase-but when they go on sale, I will buy in quantity, and cook them for a week straight. Tonight, it was a rich mushroom soup.

I know, you are thinking, "Mushroom soup, big deal", but let me assure you, this is no ordinary mushroom soup. No, this is 3/4 cup of heavy cream, two egg yolks and a stick of butter. Obviously, it is eaten in moderation...usually. There's about a cup leftover in the fridge-I wonder if I'll be able to sleep through the night knowing it is there? Poor, lonely little dish of cold mushroom soup begging to be warmed up.

Hey, who wants to hear a joke?

Why did the Portabella need a new apartment? There wasn't mushroom in the old one! Hardee har har, that one's a real knee slapper.

Why did everyone want the mushroom to come to the party? Because he was such a fungi! Why did the amoeba leave the party early? It was time for him to split!

Er...getting back to the mushroom soup...

The recipe comes from Mastering The Art of French Cooking, and yes it is a pain in the arse. You'll probably wonder if squeezing the liquid out of the cooked mushroom stems is really worth it, and I can say (having tried it both ways over the years) yes. Go to the extra trouble, you'll extract quite a bit of flavour.

This is, as I said a special treat and as such you should use the best ingredients you have available. If you've been looking for a good reason to make your own butter, this might be it (mushrooms are such little sponges they soak up all that wonderful richness).

You Will Need:

1/4 cup minced onions
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour

6 cups rich white stock or chicken stock (I used a rich vegetarian stock to great effect), boiling
Salt and pepper to taste
the chopped stems of 1 lb. mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter
the thinly sliced caps from the mushrooms (1 lb)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons butter

Cook the onions slowly in the butter in a heavy pot, taking care not to let them brown. About 8 minutes. Add the flour and stir over moderate heat for 3 minutes without browning. Remove from heat.

Beat in the boiling stock and blend it with the flour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the mushroom stems and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes or longer.

Melt butter in another saucepan. Add the sliced mushroom caps, salt and lemon juice. Cover, and cook slowly for five minutes or until they give up their liquid.

Meanwhile, strain the mushroom stems and press them to extract juice. Return broth to large pot.

Pour the mushrooms and the cooking liquid into the mushroom broth. Simmer ten minutes.

If not serving immediately, set aside uncovered and film with a tablespoon of cream or milk (I did this) Reheat to simmer just before continuing.

Beat the egg yolks with the cream and add 1 cup of the soup to it a spoonful at a time. Slowly return it to the pot and cook to warm it through and poach the eggs, but do not let it come to a simmer. This should take no more than a few minutes. Off heat, stir in the last of the butter and serve immediately.

No comments: