Melange of mushrooms soup

We are a little past the peak of the mushroom season now, but it's still quite possible to get a whole variety of fresh cultivated and wild mushrooms. And what better way to have them than in a simple soup, that really brings out their flavor?

For this soup, I would choose about one-half cultivated mushrooms, and one-half wild mushrooms, simply for the sake of cost - but of course if you can afford all wild mushrooms, by all means go all the way! It's also not too bad with all cultivated mushrooms either. Any kind of mushrooms that catch your eye would do; the only ones I would avoid are shimeji and shiitake. Shimeji are the white, rather tasteless stringy mushrooms often used in Japanese dishes; they are rather trendy, but to my mind only good for texture, not flavor. Shiitake I would also avoid because it has a very distinctive and rather overwheming flavor to me. If you love shiitake though, you could make an all-shiitake version too.

For this version, I used brown cultivated mushrooms, sometimes called chestnut mushrooms, plus wonderful yellow chantarelles, oyster mushrooms, and a couple of porcini. The aroma and flavor are absolutely wonderful. If you are on a strict low-fat diet, you can omit the cream and simply simmer it gently in the vegetable stock and it will still be quite good.

Once you've had this you'll never go back to canned Cream of Mushroom Soup again.

Mélange of mushrooms soup

  • 200 g / about half a pound of fresh cultivated brown mushrooms (chestnut mushrooms) or white mushrooms
  • 200g of mixed wild mushrooms; chantarelles, oyster mushrooms, porcini, etc.
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot, or 1 small onion
  • 1 good quality vegetable stock cube (I use Knorr or Maggi)
  • Butter
  • Fresh or dried thyme, a couple of parsley sprigs, and bay leaf (the classic bouquet garni)
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1 cup of cream

Brush off any dirt from the mushrooms with a moist paper towel. Thinly slice the cultivated mushrooms; sort of cut up the wild mushrooms (the chantarelles and oyster mushrooms you can almost tear apart with your hands). Chop the garlic and shallot or onion finely.

Heat about 1 Tbs. unsalted butter in a heavy-bottom pot. Add the garlic and shallots and saute until just limp. Add the cultivated mushrooms, and a bit more butter if you like, and saute until the mushrooms start to shrink. At first they will give out a lot of moisture, which will evaporate quickly then the mushrooms will turn brown and shrink. Add the wild mushrooms at this point (they are more tender than the cultivated ones) and briefly sauté them.

Add enough water to make the mushrooms float just a bit (that means, enough to cover, and a bit more to that). Add the stock cube. At this point, if you are a neat person tie up the parsley, thyme and bay leaf in a bit of cheesecloth and dangle it in the pot - or, if you're like me and are a messy cook, just add the thyme - dried of the leaves of a sprig of fresh, a bayleaf, and the parsley sprigs whole into the pot. You'll be fishing out the parsley and bay leaf later.

Let this simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Add the cream, stirring. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer just a bit more (about 5 minutes) until piping hot. Take out the bay leaf and parsley before serving.

Feeds 4 very hungry people with good bread for lunch, or makes a very nice starter for a winter meal.

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Melange of mushrooms soup

I'm so excited to have found your food blog. Your posts are expertly written and your links are first class. I will start today to try your mushroom soup...have to run and find some 'rooms.

Congrats again on a very fine blog!

susanne | 15 January, 2004 - 01:32

Melange of mushrooms soup

thank you Susanne and let me know how the soup came out :)

maki | 15 January, 2004 - 01:35

Melange of mushrooms soup

Maki, a request: Can you please post screenshots of the soup if you have some (and for any recipes you discuss)? ^_^ If it becomes a burden on your bandwith consumption, I understand if you don't. Snif snif, T_T. I want to see how the food looks, because I probably won't get to cook it.

With wind factor, the temperature is around -30 to -40 C in Montreal. So soup sounds good. ^_^ Hehe.

Zelnox | 15 January, 2004 - 02:14

Melange of mushrooms soup

Zelnox, i didn't post a photo because my digital camera's battery is dead ^_^; i'll remember to take a photo next time i make the soup though!

maki | 15 January, 2004 - 02:28

Melange of mushrooms soup

Wahoo \(^0^)/ Maki rox. Haha.

Zelnox | 15 January, 2004 - 03:59

Melange of mushrooms soup

"my digital camera's battery is dead"

This is classic. Might I ask, Why don't you just put in a new battery." I suspect the answer is, I bought a Sony, which uses an exotic rechargable battery that costs $50 and takes 10 hours to recharge with the $50 charger that charges one battery at a time and is different from the charger used for my previous Sony from last year (as is the battery).

Next time buy a run-of-the-mill Konica or the like and pop a couple cheap AAs from the in it whenever the batteries die.

Parker | 16 January, 2004 - 18:01

Melange of mushrooms soup

nah, I don't have a Sony. I have a Nikon. The battery lasted for good two months so I blame the operator, not the camera. I bought a battery now. All is good.

maki | 16 January, 2004 - 23:26

Melange of mushrooms soup

thanks for your wonderful blog! i'm looking forward to trying your recipe for sushi rice.

regarding the mushroom soup, i thought i'd mention that dried mushrooms also work quite well, once they've been soaked in port for a while. i've tried the creamy wild mushroom soup recipe on about.com with very good results. (http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blss15.htm)

thanks again! best, cynthia

cynthia | 17 January, 2004 - 17:11

Melange of mushrooms soup

Dried mushrooms soaked in port sounds delicious! I'll have to try it. Thanks Cynthia!

maki | 22 January, 2004 - 07:51

TrackBack from Dragon/kolibri:
While I haven

Dragon/kolibri | 18 January, 2004 - 14:18

TrackBack from Dragon/kolibri:
While I haven’t planned to take part in inter-blog discussions as such, I have to admit this entry was triggered by two entries in two separate blogs. First of all, Marnie said something really nice about our blog, perhaps the...

Dragon/kolibri | 29 March, 2005 - 22:20

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