Monday, January 17, 2011

January Recipe: Cream of Mushroom Soup

For January's new recipe, I decided to make Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom Soup.  I was pretty nervous about this one because mushrooms can be weird, but they are my favorite fungus and probably in my top 10 of favorite items in the produce section.

Overall, it was more than a was a TRIUMPH!!! I could not believe how delicious it was. I originally hoped it to be a little thicker, but it tasted perfect.

Massive props to Kirsten for her help in the kitchen, taking pictures and 5-star eating.

Total Cook Time: About an hour and a half, but I could have prepped ahead of time. (See bottom of the post for pre-book prep stuff!).  This takes into account that my first time doing a recipe is usually twice what is normally is

Serves: 6-8 (according to Julia...this must be 8 cups, not bowls, of soup)

Here's all of the stuff you need!!: 1/4 cup minced onions, 6-8 tb butter (I used I Can't Believe...), 3 tb flour,  6 cups chicken stock, 1 lb fresh mushrooms, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 egg yolks, 1/2-3/4 cup whipping cream, Port Salut cheese (or Gruyere, if you must), garlic salt, salt, pepper.

Equipment: sharp knife, cutting board, wire wisk, large (2 1/2 qt) saucepan, medium sauce pan, 3 quart mixing bowl (or several smaller ones, in my case. Who owns that big of a mixing bowl?!?!), wooden spoon, ladle, strainer

1. Start boiling 6 cups of chicken stock in a medium sized sauce pan. 

 2. In a large saucepan, slowly cook the minced onions in the butter for 8-10 minutes over med-low heat. They should be tender but not brown.

3. Add 3 tb flour & stir 2-3 minutes (without browning).

Note: I would have added a tablespoon of cornstarch at this point had I know it would be so thin in the end.  I also ended up needing to take this off the heat after a minute because it was getting too hot! The mixture is thick, but that's a good thing here.

4. Take the large saucepan off heat & beat in the boiling stock, blending thoroughly with the flour mixture. Season with salt and pepper (maybe a little garlic powder, if you're like me).

Note: A wire wisk would have worked marvelously, but K and I were just having too much fun with my Granny's pre-appliance mixer!

5. Separate the mushroom stems from the cap (if they don't come apart easily, wiggle the stem in circles a little).  Chop the stems into small pieces.  They can be smaller than mine because you will remove them later, which I didn't realize!

5. Stir the chopped mushroom stems into the stock. Simmer partially covered for at least 20 minutes (longer won't hurt), stirring occasionally.

6. Thinly slice the mushroom caps.

7. Melt 2 tb butter in the same medium-sized sauce pan you used earlier.

8. When the butter is foaming, add sliced mushroom caps, 1 tsp lemon juice & 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir well until caps are coated.  Cover & cook slowly over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Note: This is what the 'shrooms look like after they cook...they go down in size quite a bit!

9: When the stock mixture has simmered for 20 minutes or more, strain out the mushroom stems, pressing out their yummy juices into the soup. The soup should be left as liquid only. You can toss the stems at this point, not that you'd want to keep them around.

(mushroom stem curd...gross)

10. Pour the mushroom caps into the strained soup base. Stir well, then simmer for an additional 10 minutes

11. Beat 2 egg yolks with 3/4 cup cream in a large mixing bowl.

Note: This is the biggest mixing bowl I own, so there was some definite transferring of juices going on!

12. Beat in the hot soup by the spoonful until about a cup has been added. Gradually, stir in the rest of the soup. Season with more salt & pepper 'til it tastes yummy. Return to your large saucepan & stir over moderate heat for a minute or two to cook the yolk.  The soup should be very warm, but not yet simmering.

Note: More juice transferring.

13. Take the soup off heat.  By the tablespoonful, add 2-3 tablespoons of butter to the soup

Note: Number 13 was crucial for me, but easy to forget.

14: Serve in your favorite soup bowl, garnishing with fresh mushrooms, herbs, or (my preference) Port Salut cheese.

Looking to prep ahead? Chop the mushroom stems and slice the caps the night before, as well as mincing the onion.

Again, this soup was amazing! 1 month down & I already know that 2011 is going to be a very yummy year! I hope you'll give this one a shot.


  1. omg my mouth is watering! best soup ever!!!!

  2. I love the step by step with all the pictures!! :)

  3. U R 2 Cute!!!!! I love the recipe blog... inspired me to think about blogging again...