Mushroom Soup Masterpiece
July 15, 2014 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Help me make an epic home made cream of mushroom soup.

I have been craving cream of mushroom soup. My husband has this weird "no soups in the summer because it is hot" thing but I have managed to convince him to have mushroom soup with me tonight. Hurray! I want to make my own home made one that is so good he will feel dumb for ever thinking it isn't an all-year-long meal.

Way back in the day my mother once made a home made mushroom soup that was really really good. I just called her and she thinks THIS is the recipe. I'm not so sure because I vaguely remember tarragon, but maybe I'm wrong. I can just use the Julia Child recipe (minus the gluten) but I was wondering if anyone here has an epic home made mushroom soup recipe that can top it.

An idea mushroom soup would be:
- really mushroom-y
- rich, creamy, and smooth (obviously chunks of mushrooms are fine)
- fairly thick (watery soups need not apply)
- gluten free, no shellfish (husband is allergic)
- doesn't make a gigantic dinner party amount. We're two people.
- filling enough to serve as a meal all on its own (my husband often grumps that he is hungry an hour after eating soup for supper)

Bonus Points:
- not super high carb
- comes together fairly quickly. I'm looking for a come home from work and have supper on the table within an hour to an hour and a half. I'm willing to put in extra time if need be, but faster is better.
- I frankly don't want it to be all fussed about with added meats and whatnot, but if you have a recipe for mushroom soup that is SUBSTANTIALLY IMPROVED through the addition of a meat then fine, share away, but really I want this to be about the mushrooms.
- I also love cream of broccoli soup so if you have an amazing recipe for that, bring it on!
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
I am completely un-knowledgeable about how to thicken soups in a way that doesn't involve gluten, so you'll have to figure out how to modify this to exclude the flour. That said, I hate mushrooms, my husband loves them, and he thought this soup was AMAZING because of all the delightful mushroom flavour.. and I thought it was awful because all I could taste was mushrooms. Seems like exactly what you're looking for! I'd suggest doubling it - the "serves two as an appetizer" thing meant that my husband got to eat one large bowl of it himself and there were no leftovers.
posted by VioletU at 7:06 AM on July 15, 2014

Here's how I'd do it.

Saute leeks in butter over a low heat, salt and pepper. Chop up an assortment of mushrooms, as many kinds as you can afford. Let them wilt into the leeks and butter. The mushrooms should release their liquor and your kitchen should smell amazing. Deglaze the pan with a shot of brandy or sherry.

Take out about 3/4 of the mushrooms, let them cool a bit and puree them in a blender/food processor. Add this to the remaining ingreadients in the pan. Warm.

Pour in heavy cream and let everything sit on a low heat until it becomes warm.

You should have a yummy, creamy hearty mushroom soup to enjoy. I'd sprinkle with a bit of fresh parsley before serving.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:08 AM on July 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ha ha, I just made this one last night and everyone loved it, very mushroomy and super simple:

250-500g cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch of chives
1tbsp butter

3tbsp flour (you could adjust this to your low carb desires)
water (or chicken stock)
Creme fraiche (to taste)

1tsp herbs de provence (I used "italian mix" or here is a good idea of the mix)

salt & pepper (this dish tastes better a little on the salty side)

Sautee onions, chives, garlic in butter for 2min
Add mushrooms & cover. Cook for 10min.
In a separate bowl, mix flour & 1/2C water with a whisk and add to the pot.
Add water, 2-3 cups, bring to a boil then take off heat.
Use a hand blender to blend the soup, as chunky or creamy as desired.
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Add cream to taste, about 1tbsp per bowl

edit: Reading comprehension fail. Gluten free. I think this recipe would work without flour, or use a GF substitute. I find gram flour super tacky but it might change the flavor.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:09 AM on July 15, 2014

I've made this recipe for several dinner parties and it's outstanding. Admittedly, I've never cooked with gluten-free flour, but I see no reason why you couldn't substitute it.

The ingredients list easily halves if you don't want to make as much. Honestly, there are never any leftovers. One point of reference, I used a stick blender before serving it to puree maybe 90% of the mushrooms. And as far as the thyme cream goes; instead of whipping cream, I used a small container of creme fraiche and mixed in chopped thyme. Definitely worth it.
posted by dancinglamb at 7:25 AM on July 15, 2014

Make that recipe that VioletU recommends above. I ended up making it three times the first week I discovered it, because it is incredibly delicious!
posted by zoetrope at 7:48 AM on July 15, 2014

Most recipes will be thickened with a roux made with flour. I've found that sweet rice flour is an acceptable alternative.
posted by General Malaise at 7:49 AM on July 15, 2014

Here's the one you need. It's amazing simple and delicious. I couldn't believe how it came together.
posted by Carillon at 8:05 AM on July 15, 2014

I don't have specific recipe ideas, but I eat gluten-free most of the time and I always thicken my creamy sauces/soups by adding a sizable glob of cream cheese. Not cream cheese spread and certainly NOT the low-fat stuff. You want the full fat cream cheese that comes in a block. What I would do is add it in before the cream, let it melt a little over the heat and then slowly start whisking in the cream.

Otherwise, you could probably simmer the soup with some chunks of potato - the starch will help thicken. You could then puree it if you want to keep the potato or you could fish the chunks out before serving if you don't (of course they will have to be big chunks from a hardy potato that won't disintegrate to do this).
posted by joan_holloway at 8:23 AM on July 15, 2014

Best answer: To start off re: thickening.

Your best gluten-free options are rice or potato starch. Guar gum or locust bean gum are also useful, but can be finicky. I'd avoid using xanthan, as a slight miscalculation can have the tendency of turning your liquid mucilaginous--like snot.

But really, all you need to do to thicken is reduce the cream a bit.

I don't have actual amounts--home cooking I do by feel. But so what if you end up with extra? It freezes well, so making more (assuming you want to eat this on a semi regular basis) saves you labour later; all you have to do is defrost and reheat.

On to the 'recipe'

Get a pound or so (~500ish grams) of various mushrooms. You'll want something like portobello, cremini, or shiitake for sure to get the really earthy flavour. Add in something like king oyster to get higher notes of mushroom flavour. You can use white button mushrooms to bulk it up if you need to, but you definitely want something with a really assertive mushroom flavour.

Optional: get some chanterelles or lobster mushrooms for garnish. If you can afford the real deal, a tiny amount of truffle shaved over at the end will send the soup to the moon. Or garnish with truffle oil (but read the ingredients carefully; much truffle oil has never been near an actual truffle in its life).

You can also use dried mushrooms. Reconstitute in a heatproof container by pouring boiling water over them and waiting ~15 minutes. Strain, but reserve the liquid!

Roughly chop your mushrooms.

In a medium-hot soup pot, sweat 2-3 shallots (rough chopped, Vidalia onion, or leeks (whites only, save the greens for stock or something else) and a garlic clove (leave the garlic whole; this will give you a gentle garlic flavour that will underpin the mushrooms and not dominate) in 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil.

Once everything is translucent, add your chopped mushrooms. Season with salt very very lightly--this will help the mushrooms release their moisture. You can correct seasoning at the end, which is why you do it lightly here.

Sautee in the pot (you may need to add a little extra olive oil or butter, depending on exactly how much mushroom you're using) until golden and all water has evaporated. If you have used dried mushrooms, deglaze with the leftover liquid. Otherwise use a drinkable brandy, cognac, or white wine to deglaze. (Safety: pour alcohol from a wide mouth container or bowl in case of flareups leading to the bottle exploding in your hand. I've seen it happen. Not fun.) Continue cooking until all liquid is cooked off/alcohol has burned off.

After you've deglazed, add lots and lots of cream (35%). If that's too rich for you, thin a little with milk. Simmer on low heat for 1/2 hour (or more, if you can) to infuse the flavour.

Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender. Safety again: blending hot liquids is dangerous; they have a habit of blowing the top off the blender, sometimes to astonishing heights. Don't fill the blender more than about halfway, hold a folded teatowel over the lid to keep it down, and give the tiniest pulse first, then you can start blending faster.

Over a second pot or clean bucket, hang a fine mesh strainer (like a chinois), or a larger strainer lined with (wet!) cheesecloth. Pour each batch of pureed soup through this.

Once you've worked your way through the pot, press the residue caught through the strainer to get as much liquid out as possible. This mushroom sludge won't be of much use for anything; compost.

Return new pot to the heat, bring to the boil, lower the temperature slightly until the soup is thickened to your taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

For garnish (as I said, optional), sautee some chanterelles or lobster mushrooms or both in (again) equal parts olive oil and butter over medium to medium high heat, with one garlic clove and some fresh thyme. At the last minute, add a pinch or two of lemon zest. Cook for another minute more, then remove from pan, draining off any excess fat.

Soup in bowl, garnish on top, everyone's happy. You should get a nice velvety soup with an intense mushroom flavour, with hints of garlic, thyme, and lemon.

If you really want to up the ante, make a mushroom stock: 1/2lb shallots cut in half, skin can be left on. Throw into a stock pot with olive oil and cook until golden. Deglaze with red wine. Add mushroom stems and trimmings and whatnot, simmer for an hour or two. (Dried mushrooms are excellent for this, and more cost effective). Strain. Return liquid to pot, over high heat, and reduce to basically a syrup consistency. This will take a variable amount of time depending on how much liquid you started out with--I'd suggest at least 4L and a pound or more of mushrooms--more if fresh. Swirl the syrup over the top of the soup just before serving.

For broccoli soup, follow roughly the same steps. Eat the florets at another meal; you can make broccoli (or cauliflower) soup with just the stems roughly chopped. You'll need a lot though. Optional: roast the broccoli first w/olive oil, s&p. Then into a pot with cream, simmer until infused, then follow blending directions above. Classic garnish for cream of broccoli soup is some sort of sharp cheese--maybe a large crouton with cheese melted on it.

posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:29 AM on July 15, 2014 [20 favorites]

Hmm I should also see if I can pry open my neighbour's recipe book and get her Nana's recipe for soup... cream based, chunks of potato and onion and kielbasa and bacon and I can't remember what else. The only thing you're capable of after eating this is being semi-comatose on the sofa. Hungry? Not until tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. It's stick to your ribs in Russian winters kinda soup.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:11 AM on July 15, 2014

I had the best mushroom soup of my life at this restaurant in France last year. When I got home I frantically tried to find a recipe that I could translate/convert from French measuremnts to US. I gave up and used these two recipes from NY Times and both satisfied my craving to recreate that incredible soup. Sherry or Madeira seem to be a key ingredient. I cook all GF so if there's a need for flour or thickener, Bob Mill's all purpose flour is what I use.

Mushroom Soup

Wild Mushroom Soup
posted by SanSebastien at 10:44 AM on July 15, 2014

This recipe is the only soup recipe I know, because it is amazing and why would you possibly need another soup recipe?

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
posted by robot-hugs at 2:05 PM on July 15, 2014

(So did you make it? Please update!!)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:16 AM on July 16, 2014

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