Cream of Mushroom Soup

I have loved cream of mushroom soup since I was a little girl and my mother served me her version (Campbell’s lol because she can’t cook worth a damn).  Still, there was something about the creamy mushroom taste that I loved and when I grew up, I started making my own version.  My version might be the traditional way to make it, it’s just how I thought it should be and what I’ve worked out and perfected over the years.
I love my version, make tons of it and often freeze huge parts of it without the cream to heat up later, then adding the cream.  I use lots of types of mushrooms, good butter, a nice white wine (usually a pinot grigio), parsley, shallots, chicken broth and heavy cream.  The soup is amazing on its own without the cream added and I often have it like that for a more lo-cal version.  If you have problems processing dairy, eliminate the step with the cream and enjoy as is.  It also makes a fantastic dressing for pasta.
There’s a neat little Korean market near my old place in Hollywood that sells a variety of mushrooms at incredibly cheap prices.  I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s right on the corner of Kingsley and Beverly not far from Western.  If you’re in L.A., do make the trip – that store is a wonder and has marvelously unique ingredients to play with.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

About 5-6 pounds of various sliced mushrooms.  I use King Oysters, regular oyster mushrooms, straw, criminis, white mushrooms, button mushrooms, white beech mushrooms, shitakes, and portobellos.
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1/4 c shallots, finely chopped
2-4 tablepoons butter, melted
1 bottle of good white wine
Chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Heavy cream

Slice the mushrooms to get them all to a uniform size and sautee in butter with the chopped shallots until well browned using a big stockpot.  The mushrooms absorb quite a bit of butter, so if you need to add more to keep them from sticking and burning, add a tsp at a time.
Lower the heat and add in the salt, pepper, thyme and parsley, stir.
Pour in enough chicken broth to almost fill the pot along with a cup of the wine.  Simmer for about three hours, adding another cup of wine as the broth reduces until you’ve used the whole bottle.
Separate the soup you want to freeze (this makes a great base for pasta sauce) and then add in heavy cream to taste to the remaining soup depending on how creamy you want it, stirring constantly and until just heated through.  Serve.

*This makes a lot of soup and I freeze most of it without the cream in it for various uses.

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