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Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Dried porcini mushrooms lend depth of flavor to this soup, which is perfect for a cool autumn day. The mushrooms are first reconstituted, or rehydrated, in chicken stock. The soaking liquid is strained and added to the soup base to enhance the taste.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 lb. white button mushrooms, brushed clean
      and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 1/4 cup for drizzling
      (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Deep-fried sage leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 2 cups of the stock. Add the porcini, remove from the heat and let stand for about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Line a fine-mesh sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth. Strain the soaking liquid and set aside.

In a stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the porcini and button mushrooms and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the Madeira and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to coat. Stir in the mushroom soaking liquid and the remaining 4 cups stock. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth, then return the soup to the pot. Stir in the 1/2 cup cream and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish with fried sage leaves or drizzle with cream. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.