1/4 cup onions, minced
3 Tbs Unsalted butter
3 Tbs a/p flour
6 cups unsalted chicken broth, seasoned with 2 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf and 1/8 tsp thyme
salt and pepper
1 lb fresh mushrooms – save the caps, rough-chop the stems
2 Tbs unsalted butter
thinly sliced mushroom caps – from the above pound of mushrooms
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs unsalted softened butter
This is Julia’s recipe for the real French cream of mushroom soup. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Separate the mushroom stems from the caps. Rough chop the stems. Fine slice the caps. Set them both aside.
Start the stock heating up to the boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. If you make your own stock what you want is a traditional white stock. I can’t find it in my local store, so I use chicken stock. If you are using chicken stock you will need to remove the bay leaf and parsley after boiling a minute of two.
Sauté the onions in 3 Tbs of unsalted butter. Do not let them brown, what you want is just nice and softened. Probably about 5 to 8 minutes depending on your stove’s low setting. Once again: DON’T BROWN.
Make a pale roux: add the flour and stir or whisk over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Don’t get it brown.
Remove the pan from the heat and add boiling stock a cup at a time, stirring continuously. When the roux has been completely liquefied and absorbed add all back into the liquid.
Add in the rough chopped mushroom stems and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. If there is any scum on the surface skim it off.
Strain the mixture through a sieve. Squeeze the juice out of the mushroom stem pieces. The easiest way is just prop a sieve over a pan, pour the juice through and let it sit for a few minutes. Dispose of the remains of the mushroom stems and onions that are left in the sieve.
Slowly sauté the sliced mushroom caps, lemon juice, and salt in the 2 Tsp of butter for about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and their juices to the strained soup base and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
Beat two egg yolks and 3/4 cup heavy cream together. Temper by adding hot soup about ½ to 1 cup at a time while whisking constantly and vigorously. When the mix has been tempered add it back into the soup. Stir over very low heat. Do not let it come to a simmer. All you want to do is let it thicken a bit – about 2 minutes.
Taste and correct seasoning. Off the heat stir in 1 to 3 Tbs of butter to taste.
If you want to impress your dinner guests reserve some of the prettier mushroom caps, flute and sauté in lemon and butter. What is fluting you say? It is just carving a pretty curved pattern with a small, very sharp knife. If you don’t want to flute – or don’t know how, you can use a zester to make a pretty pattern, or skip the pretty pattern bit and just serve the caps undecorated. Anyway – float the sautéed caps in the bowls or cups just before serving.
This stuff is easier than it sounds, and doesn’t take all that long.
This lot will feed 4 to 6 depending on whether you just want a small soup course or more of the main meal. Really outstanding with a crusty French bread for dunking.
Oh yeah – for those who are used to the canned cream of mushroom that is kind of stiff this will seem a bit liquid. You can stiffen/thicken it up by adding a small amount of arrowroot or cornstarch before serving. On the other hand – if what you are after is the taste of the canned junk then just serve it and don’t go to this trouble. But – my taste buds claim that this well worth the minor effort.
Final note: You could probably use any mushroom that tickles your fancy, but for the best results the plain old button mushroom just can’t be beat. This is a rather balanced and delicate taste and the stouter mushrooms just overpower everything in my opinion.