I know I’m tooting my own horn and stuff, but this is by far THE best cream of mushroom soup I have ever made in my life.
The reason for that, though, is that it accommodates all kinds of mushrooms. Some folks will tell you that you simply cannot use just any kind of mushroom in a cream of mushroom soup, but I beg to differ.
This is a soup of mushroom love and acceptance and really, just liking striking the right mix of friends for a great party, it’s all about proportions and preparation.
For instance, when I last made this soup, I used a combination of creminis that I had fried and frozen, puffball that I had roasted and frozen, and fresh shiitakes. The shiitakes is what would make many go all o.Ò about because they have a very strong flavour and would argue that there’s no place for that kind of flavour in a cream of mushroom soup and I get it, but they really worked in this one because, of the 32 ounces of mushrooms I used in this last soup, only 6 of those ounces were shiitakes. Had I used dried and reconstituted shiitakes, I would have used even less because the drying strengthens the flavour exponentially and I reeeeeeally like shiitakes, but I like balanced, delicious flavour even more.
All of that to say: Experiment. Use wood ears and oysters and lobsters and hens of the woods and whatever funky mushrooms you can get your hands on. You’re worth it!
What you need:
- 32 oz (about 4 cups) of mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped – for my last batch of soup, I used 6 ounces of fresh shiitakes, 16 ounces of creminis, and 10 ounces of puffball, give or take)
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp of dried thyme OR rosemary OR sage (1 tbsp fresh, finely chopped)
- 4 cups of stock (your choice of flavour)
- 1 can of evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup of vermouth
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- Salt & pepper to taste
What you do:
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot, sautée the mushrooms in half of the butter over medium heat until lightly browned. Doing this in batches makes for better browning.
- Remove the mushrooms from the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, over medium heat, sautée the onions and garlic in the remaining butter until translucent.
- Stir in the nutmeg, your herb of choice, and a little salt and pepper, and continue sautéing for two minutes.
- Add the stock and evaporated milk or heavy cream to the pot and stir until combined.
- Stir the mushrooms in.
- Let summer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Season to taste, then serve hot.