Sunday, 5 December 2010

Creamy Mushroom Soup

My quest for hearty winter meals continues, as does my search for the perfect soup. When I think back to the soups I loved as a child I think of classics like Heinz Tomato, eagerly scooped up with slices of thick, white toasted bread. Thinking back to my childhood brings fond memories of many different Baxters and Campbell's soups but the most comforting flavour of all is condensed cream of mushroom soup. My favourite childhood meal was my Grandma's chicken and mushroom casserole, made with chicken thighs, 2 cans of condensed mushroom soup and an onion or two. Nowadays I think the best way I could describe it would be a chicken supreme and I have very fond memories of lunch at my Grandma's table praying for seconds. I know I could make a proper supreme with actual mushrooms and cream but this one means much more to me. Nothing is quite as comforting to me on a cold evening in than Grandma's chicken and mushroom casserole over a jacket potato. Comfort food at it's very finest.



With this as my inspiration I wanted to create a smooth mushroom soup. Creamy in texture but deep and complex in flavour. It may not be courtesy of my Grandma but I hope she'd be proud of me. This recipe makes six portions and the volume of raw mushroom means you need a very large pan (at least 28cm). If you don't have a large enough pan, just halve the quantities.

Creamy Mushroom Soup
  • 30g butter
  • 300g mushroooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick carrot
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 300g potatoes, chopped into approx 2cm cubes
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 tblsp crème fraiche
  • 2 tblsp thyme
Garnish
  • 50g mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • handful of thyme leaves
  • cubed bread 
  • 4 tblsp olive oil
  1. In your largest pan melt the butter and sauté the onion, celery and carrot for 10 minutes or until softened. Then add the chopped garlic and cook for a further 2-3 mins.
  2. Stir in the mushrooms carefully (you really do need a large pan for this) and sauté for 5-10 mins or until soft. Add the potato and the stock and bring to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 mins.
  3. While the soup is simmering sauté the sliced mushroom in the butter for 10 mins or until soft and golden brown, flambé in the brandy until flames have died down and then set the mushrooms to one side. Now heat the 4 tbsp of oil in the same pan and lightly fry handfuls of cubed bread until golden, then leave to drain on a paper towel.
  4. When the soup has simmered, use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables and mushroom to a blender and process until smooth. It's entirely up to you how smooth you wish the final soup to be. Now gradually add the stock until you have the consistency you prefer. Season to taste.
  5. Transfer the soup back to your pan and on a low heat stir through the crème fraiche until it has completely dissolved. Do not let it boil at this stage, you just want to heat it through.
  6. Garnish with croutons, fried mushroom slices and thyme.


4 comments:

  1. wow. looks lovely... have you ever tried adding a cubed chicken breast and some tarragon to your mushroom soups? It adds a real depth of flavour and will give you a hint of that nostalgia you're looking for!

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  2. That's a great idea! I've done it before with a drumstick in that I then remove and shred into the veloute. Also very tasty. Will try the tarragon next time.

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  3. found you via One Perfect Bite and can't wait to try this recipe!

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  4. Let me know what you think, if you make it!

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