Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Just a simple mushroom soup..."

That's what I replied to my mom when she asked what kind of soup I made. Then when I was telling her how I made it she laughed and told me I had to name this blog post "Just a simple little soup." I guess it sounded fancier than I made it out to be!

I made soup last night because I had some things I wanted to use up - carrots, celery, onions, and mushrooms. I wanted to highlight the mushrooms, but didn't want your typical cream of mushroom soup. So I started to brainstorm...

The other night I made chicken pot pie for the first time, and really liked the way I created a richer stock out of plain old chicken broth, so I decided to use a similar process to start this soup. I also wanted something a touch creamy, so I decided to puree the soup as well as add a touch of cream. Finally, I needed something to give it a punch and brandy sounded and smelled like the right ingredient. The recipe below is my own creation.

* some ingredients note "chopped and separated" - this is so half can be used when simmering the broth, and the other half can be used when starting the veggies for the soup.
  • 2 carrots, chopped and separated
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped and separated
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and separated
  • Approximately 12 white mushrooms, stems removed and saved, tops chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp thyme, separated
  • 3 14 oz cans broth; by accident I grabbed 2 cans chicken broth and 1 can beef broth, but all chicken, all beef, or all veggie would work fine
  • 2 c water
  • 1 tbsp butter plus 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 c brandy
  • 1/2 c light cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine broth, water, mushroom stems, 1/2 of the carrots/celery/onions, a few of the porcini mushrooms, bay leaf, peppercorns, and half of the thyme. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove solids and reserve broth. You can re-use the porcini mushrooms in the soup (add to soup when you add the broth).
  • In a soup pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat
  • Add the raw carrots, celery, and onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring
  • Add chopped mushroom tops. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  • Add brandy and stir until absorbed
  • Add reserved broth, porcini mushrooms, and thyme; bring to a steady simmer. Simmer 20 minutes
  • Remove from heat and puree using a handheld immersion blender, or transfer to a blender.
  • Return to heat and add cream, stirring. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

This soup was exactly what I had imagined. Full of mushroom flavor, but not too woody or overpowering. The celery and carrots helped to round out the flavors, and it had just the right amount of cream to make it smooth without being terribly creamy (or fatty!).

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1 comment:

  1. Yum - looks delicious! My hubby would slurp it up quickly - he loves anything with mushrooms!