The Frugal Gourmet’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 3 pounds chicken backs and necks
  • 2 quarts water
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ounce dried European mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp butter or peanut oil
  • Roux of 4 Tbsp flour and 4 Tbsp oil or butter
  • 3 cups cream or milk or half-and-half
  • 2 tsp chervil
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sugar

Bring all the broth ingredients [first five ingredients] to a simmer, and then cook for 2 hours. Add water during the cooking time in order to keep it up to proper level. Drain, and refrigerate. Remove the fat.

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups water for 1 hour. Drain, and add the water to the chicken broth. Chop the mushrooms fairly fine, and sauté for 5 minutes in a little oil.

Sauté the white mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter or oil. When they are tender but not discolored (do not overcook), remove them from the heat.

Bring the broth to a boil. Add the dried mushrooms. Prepare the roux by lightly pouring the flour in the butter or oil. Remove the stockpot from the burner, and stir in the roux. Return the stockpot to the heat, and stir until slightly thickened. Add the white mushrooms, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cream or milk or half-and-half, chervil, sherry, salt, pepper, and sugar if you wish.

Serve The Frugal Gourmethot or ice-cold.

Yield: 10-12 servings

From: The Frugal Gourmet by Jeff Smith

Gray:  I think this turned out really well.  It was better than I had expected.  I am often disappointed by mushroom dishes, but this was very good.  The dried mushrooms didn’t get as soft as I would have hoped.  I think they might have been better to soak a little longer, or use a boiling water soak or some other method.  I think they bring an intense flavor to the dish that it needs.  If you have any hints on using dried mushrooms, please let us know in the comments.

Katie: This was good! I love mushrooms, and had very high hopes for this. It didn’t quite make it up to my expectations, but it was good! I have to say that although I like the flavor of the dried mushrooms, that I do not seem to like the texture as well as fresh mushrooms. We also used them in a risotto earlier and I had the same problem. I think I might soak them and use the water they soaked in, but discard the dried mushrooms. Gray did a great job slicing the fresh ones thinly, and the fresh mushrooms were delicious in the soup!

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2 Responses to The Frugal Gourmet’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

  1. Paul says:

    I use dried porcini mushrooms, and steep them in hot water until softened. I use the liquid, but don’t pour off the entire bit, as some dirt remains at the bottom of the cup. I chop them very fine, because we’re looking for flavor here, not texture. Instead of button mushrooms, I use shitake and crimini (baby portabella). Make sure there are no shitake stems because they are woody and will ruin the soup.

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