Following on from the mushroom pasta recipe last time, here is a very simple but delicious mushroom soup that I’ve been making a lot recently.
- One large onion
- A good-sized knob of butter
- Plenty of mushrooms — I use one or two complete 250g tubs.
- Flour — maybe about four heaped teaspoons
- About two litres of real chicken stock, simmered from a carcass.
- A dash of cream — maybe 50 ml or so
- Salt and pepper
You can probably guess the method, but here it is anyway:
1. Chop the onion and fry it in the butter until it’s soft. It would probably be best to do this slowly over a low heat until it caramelises, but I never have the patience for that.
2. While that’s happening, chop the mushrooms and add them to the pot. Let them cook fairly slowly until they start to mush down.
3. Sprinkle in the flour, and mix it in well, so that no actual flour is visible. In judging how much flour to use, my experience so far has been that I’ve not been able to add too much: the first time I made the soup I hugely underestimated, and I’ve been adding more each time since. I think so long as you can get it all to be absorbed, you’ll be fine.
4. Add chicken stock, little by little, stirring in well at each point so that you don’t get lumps forming.
5. Once you have enough stock that the whole mixture is liquid, run it briefly through a liquidiser to reduce the onion and and mushroom lump to a very fine state. (You can skip this if you chopped very finely to start with.)
6. Return the mixture to the pan, add the rest of the stock, and cook gently for fifteen minutes or so.
7. Add the cream. It may be best to do this by feel, adding a little, stirring it in, and adding more until you’re happy with the result. I overdid the cream the first time I made this, which was OK but not really necessary.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
And you’re done! Delicious soup, good with very fresh bread and butter (but then, what isn’t?)
This looks really nice; I might have to try this at some point. Is this for three people, like the pasta, or does it serve more or less?
Oh, many more — I’d guess about eight people. I tend to make up a batch, then keep it in the fridge and microwave portions as needed.
1. Make sure you cook it for long enough after putting the flour in, or it’ll taste floury.
2. Can also use mashed potatoes instead of flour, for a slightly different texture. Also good for glutin intolerances.
I am pretty patient when it comes to onions, but I don’t think letting them brown would be appropriate for this recipe (they start to caramelize the instant you put them in hot fat.) I’d probably cook them a bit more slowly than you, but that is a detail.
This sounds very good, but it’s missing something, IMHO. A bit of wine would add flavor and a little acidic bite. Which wine to add, and when to add it is an interesting question, and I think I would decide based on what I was serving after the soup.
With something light (squid maybe- I wouldn’t serve this soup before most fish, anyway) I might add a fruity acidic white to the onions right at the end, turn the heat up, and let the wine cook off.
If I were serving this before a roast I would use a nice robust red in the soup, and make sure to simmer for a while after adding it.
Excellent thinking, Tagore. I will try it.
How big is a knob?
A knob of butter? It varies a lot between people: whatever’s good for you.
But the important thing is what you do with it.
“You can probably guess the method, but there is is anyway…”
I’m sorry? What?
Sorry, silly typo. Now fixed, thanks for reporting it.