You know, there really isn't that much to say about this soup. It's just really darn good. It's pretty simple and straight-forward yet it yields a really dreamy mushroom soup. If you put the texture issue aside, this soup is really like mushroom meets silk or satin and ends up in a bowl together. It's so luxurious and smooth. If you pureed it then it would really be smooth. I think I'd miss the tender slices too much though if it were blended! Also, notice those little oil spots floating on the surface? If you've read other posts on soup here, you know how much I adore them. They make for an amazing mouth feel and give soups a richness they often need in my opinion.
This soup is comprised of three main flavors. Mushrooms. Butter. Sherry. Think of them as a trinity. A heavenly trio: savory, rich, intoxicating. Sure, there's some onion and herbs in there, but when all is said and done, and you sit down to a bowl of this glorious soup, that first spoonful will blast you with mighty and bold flavor. The taste of mushrooms so pure and intense, it's like they take the stage, the big shiny star, and those big red velvet stage curtains behind? Yeah, they are made from butter and trimmed with sherry tassels?
And the texture, oh, the texture. I realize that there are mushroom haters out there. Maybe even quite a lot of them. And I'll admit, this soup would be a mushroom nightmare for them. But if you even remotely like mushrooms, trust me, you'll like this soup a lot. And if you love mushrooms? You will want to marry this soup. There is just something about the silky broth, the buttery smoothness, and the thin and tender mushroom slices. Am I allowed to say that it's succulent? We enjoyed it on a Sunday afternoon. Can't you just tell that that is Sunday afternoon light below? Soft, lazy, beckoning. And now that fall is practically knocking on our doors, it's really, really time to start making lots and lots of soup. Sunday Succulence, anyone? Recipe below.
Holy Mushroom Soup
(think it comes from Epicurious under a different name)
1/4 pound unsliced white mushrooms
1/4 pound unsliced cremini mushrooms
4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (makes it amazing, didn't have this last time, still incredible!)
1 large onion, tiny dice
1/2 tsp. dried and crumbled tarragon
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, Mexican oregano if you can find
4 c low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T dry sherry
couple splashes heavy cream
4 T unsalted butter
start by chopping onion in as small as dice as possible. heat up a pan over medium-high heat and add two Tbsp of butter. once melted and bubbling hot, add diced onion. stir.
immediately start THINLY slicing the fresh mushrooms. about as thin as you can manage. either blend dried porcinis into a powder or pain-stakingly chop them up as fine as you can. assemble these ingredients into a bowl along with the salt, pepper, oregano, and tarragon. once onions are translucent add this mixture. sautee for about five more minutes until mushrooms are tender.
add remaining butter and once it has melted stir it into mixture a bit. then scatter the flour over the mixture and stir carefully. let this cook together, stirring occasionally for about four or five minutes. brown bits will accumulate on pan surface. this is good. makes for a nutty, deep flavor. then slowly pour in about one cup of chicken stock making sure to stir well and gather up any bits stuck to the pan. let this simmer for a bit and add rest of stock. bring up to a simmering bubble.
add cream and sherry. return to a simmer. taste. can be made ahead and kept in fridge until ready to serve. just reheat. this is DELICIOUS. garnish with thinly sliced scallions (green onions). cutting them on the bias makes them gorgeous.
Happy Fall, everyone. I can't wait to share it with you.