Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cream of Mushroom Soup – Pure Liquid Moon-Soaked Earth

I can't believe I haven't posted a video recipe for cream of mushroom soup! It's such a classic cool weather staple, and quite simple to make – as long as you have a few hours to spare.

The secret to this deep rich potage is a long slow caramelization, the key to unlocking the mushroom's magic. Oh, and by the way, I mean that literally. Mushrooms are by far the most mysterious and magical things we eat.

Scientists still don't really understand how and why they grow like they do. While every other food you eat gets its energy from the sun, Agaricus bisporus, the common button mushroom, does not. Some believe mushrooms are powered by the moon, which I find fascinating to contemplate.

This is a very minimalist formula, and meant to transform the browned bits of fungus into pure earthy essence of mushroom. You can use whatever exotic mushrooms you can get a hold of, but it works quite well with the ubiquitous white button mushroom. Enjoy!




Ingredients:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 pounds white or brown button mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 rounded tbsp flour
6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied into a bundle with kitchen string, plus some picked leaves to garnish
2 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

51 comments:

childsdish said...

A bowl of moon beams - it looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

i really love cooking like this. just simple. and so beautiful.
btw chef john, I notice you didn't include the flour on your ingredients list.......
Cheers!

missy said...

yummy! i'm the only one in the house that will eat mushrooms (crazy people). will this freeze well?

Chef John said...

I'm not a big freezer, but I'm sure it does.

Kim from MA said...

Not only does the recipie look great but the filming/ video quality was outstanding!
Thanks again.

Maui said...

"the Moon!" hahaha that's Legendary Chef John. Just Legendary! Hope this coming year will be full of "the Moon" jokes and fun!

lechner said...

I giggled vigorously with "the moon" joke, Chef John. Much like your recipes, your comedic timing is also deliciously refined. I'll be making this sometime soon :)

jjagroop2006 said...

I was just looking for soup recipes so this is timely. I added 2 strips of bacon to the saute and deglazed with 2 shots of brandy, added stock, added a buerre manie, pureed 1/2 the mushrooms and added the cream.
Great video as always.

redforever said...

Missy, I would tend to shy away from freezing this cream of mushroom soup.

It has been my experience that foods that contain cream tend to separate and end up curdled when they are frozen and then thawed.

Anonymous said...

the moon doesn't generate any light on it's own - it merely reflects light from the sun.

soup looks amazing though - will definitely try it.

Chef John said...

who said anything about light? It's the gravity...

Michael Maier said...

Wow, the big pic of the bowl of soup looks incredible!

Now I am going to have to waste hours of my life looking at ALL of your big pics.

Connie said...

I love mushrooms and I am amazed at how fast the wild ones grow. They just pop up over night and grow tall. I watched one in Florida. It was tall and pointed and after 2 days it grew out like a big umbrella. It was at least 5 inches across.

Anonymous said...

yeah...chef John.
I don't always have the time to comment on your videos.

I commented on a couple of them.

But I have you in my RSS reader and I watch every single one of your recipes, just like I would watch a soap I'm addicted to on TV.

Please keep doing what you're doing.

I'm gonna try this recipe, as I was trying others.
you keep inspiring people.
you are responsible for a generation of young cooks...as I'm pretty young myself...you taught me a lot.
Mostly, you taught me the joy of cooking, of experimenting, of being curious.

thanks so much.

Always yours,
LC.

rosemary said...

Thanx for sharing. Its wild mushroom season here so I am going to try this with some. Just wondering: What happens if you do not SLOWLY lower in the thyme?

Anonymous said...

Me, too, Rosemary! I want to know what happens if I just "drop" the thyme into the pot ?

Anonymous said...

chef john? can i use vegetable or mushroom stock instead of chicken stock? i'm vegetarian

mug shot said...

Yummy looking recipe!
Btw, are the garnish mushrooms crispy? they sure look like it!

KrisD said...

@Missy, you could probably freeze this in batches (without the cream) and then add the cream when you gently reheat.

Anonymous said...

Chef John,
I noticed that you didn't use the trusty stick blender. You raved so much about it and I got one for Christmas! Is a blender a better choice for this soup?

Chef John said...

no, the stick blender does a great job, I just wanted to show the safe way to use a blender which is what 90% of the viewers will use. Stick is easier!

missy said...

thanks so much for the comments, everyone! i will definitely try freezing without the cream and adding it in later. the soup looks so delicious, i would hate to waste it! thanks again!

Susanne said...

It would be nice (and work better for us who are not americans) if you would write grams and ml/cl along with the pounds and cups.

Chef John said...

never! see lower sidebar for converter

Anonymous said...

OMGosh! I am so excited.Thank you! I think it was over a year ago that I told the foodwish fairy that my wish was a mushroom soup recipe. I was patient for a long time, and then had just sort of given up as it appeared you became busier and busier and busier. This is a delightful surprise. I have a little bottle of truffle oil that has been just waiting for this day. Happy New Year Chef John! Here's to a great year of success with foodwishes.com and all of your other ventures in 2010.

Anonymous said...

wow, the sound effects at the end scared the hell out of me :)

Anonymous said...

I have some dried mixed mushrooms would that be good?

Term papers said...

Wow This is a very minimalist formula, and meant to transform the browned bits of fungus into pure earthy essence of mushroom. I can use whatever exotic mushrooms I can get a hold of, but it works quite well with the ubiquitous white button mushroom.

Jim said...

I made this soup the day after discovering your blog/you-tube posts. I am in awe - Here is my story: I came home on a rainy Friday night after gathering all the ingredients on my way home - I didn't realize making this would take me a couple of hours so my hubby ate something else for dinner. I have never cooked mushrooms for that long (I used the small brown crimini mushrooms) And I have never smelled anything more fragrant and wonderful - In the end ... I used my stick blender to blend up the soup and it worked great EXCEPT I forgot to remove the herb bundle... strings and stems were a hindrance but even those did not ruin this delightful soup. THANK YOU!

rob boisvert said...

seeing as how mushroom soup is by far and away my favourite of the liquid'ish meals, i had to try and make this myself. after 2 bowls in 5 minutes all i can say is, MORE PLEASE! ha. this is a really really great and simple recipe. i did however make a minor addition to the ingredients that i think most will also like to try. i added 2.5 pounds of mushrooms and another 0.5 pounds of BROCCOLI (which i put in at the same stage as the onions) since i now had 3 pounds of veggies and not 2, i simply added a 1.5 portion of all other ingredients. ie. 3 cloves garlic, 1.5 cups of water/cream, 6 cups stock etc. etc. i can't wait to make this for my mom! thanks again. your new number one fan
rob

Anonymous said...

Hi!

Would it be helpful to add some sugar to support the caramelization of the mushrooms?

Bart B. Belgium said...

Hi chef
I tried this recipie today while the snowflakes where falling outside. MAN! this is what i've been missing all my life. A new favorite! Thanks for sharing the secret.
Greetings from Belgium.
Oh... About those mushrooms... Mushrooms don't grow as regular plants. The little "sporuts" are already full-grown but they tend to pump themselves up with water much like a spagetti noodle or the blood in certain male bodyparts :-)

Riveness said...

What volume of soup does this make approx? Thanks

Chef John said...

About 7-8 cups. enjoy!

dorely.103 said...

Thanks for this recipe! I'm making it again next week and my hubby loves it! I added rosemary instead of thyme and still came out amazing.

aravis said...

My husband who is not a fan of mushroom soup liked it a lot! And yes, I was scared by that sound effect at the end :)

Petronella said...

I'm planning on making this as dinner for myself tomorrow, and need to cut the recipe. Anyone know how many the amounts in the post serves?

Anonymous said...

OMG absolutely delish! Thank you so much!! Yum! Yum! Yum!!!!

martinz said...

Sorry but what is the white liquid at 0.30 that the mushrooms are swimming in?

Anonymous said...

can i use shitake mushroom for this soup?

Ken said...

GREAT Soup! ... I really wanted to try this one, but didn't have any cream on hand and was reluctant to use only 1% milk that was in the fridge, so in stead of the cream I added a can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, and a little more water ... the results were great! This one goes on the "good for company" list!!! ... thanks.
Ken

Anonymous said...

I THOUGHT I already posted this comment, but maybe I was wrong? I'll try again.

I finally got around to making this. I also caramelized the onions in a separate pot while the mushrooms were cooking, then added the onions to the mushrooms and continued on with the recipe as written, except I didn't bother making a 'bundle' of the thyme, I just stripped the leaves and tossed them in. I might use roasted garlic next time, plus some soaked dried wild mushrooms as well as the criminis. This is a fantastic soup. I did use my stick blender and ended up with 'liquid silk'. The weather is just screaming for soups and stews right now. I use my crock pot a lot at this time of year, so might try sauteeing the mushrooms and onions and adding them to the crock pot along with most of the rest of the ingredients so I can come home, use my stick blender, add the cream and turn the heat up until it's nice and hot. Thanks for all of your great ideas.

Jay Thomas Hewitt said...

Just made it for dinner. Superb. However, some lessons learned:
1) Instead of removable thyme sprigs, I put the leaves in and left them. I thought the the soup a slight grassy taste that probably would not have been there if I had followed Chef John's directions.
2) I browned the mushrooms at too high of a heat for a few minutes too long (they went beyond what Chef John's looked like), and I also later wished I had not... there was a slight bitterness.
3) The onion I used was particularly potent, and I wished I had cut back on that by about 1/4.

Lesson: follow the directions.

Savannah Krueger said...

TSAAA SERVINGS?????

Durugörü said...

Thank you for that delicious recipe but also your energic and humorous explanation!:)))

Ed Adams said...

Chef John,

I'm glad you reposted these soups because I hadn't found you back in 2009 yet. This soup turned out, in my humble opinion, amazing. As great as this soup was, I was left longing for some chunks of mushrooms in the silky goodness of the soup. So, next time I make this, and there will be a next time, I'll add a third pound of shrooms and after browning them set them aside for garnish and to chop up most of them to drop back in the soup after I puree it. By the way, I purchased a new kitchen toy before making this, a stick blender, and it worked great.

Randy Sieb said...

YUM. My blender went to Margaritaville so I had to use a stick blender. Not as smooth as the regular blender but just as tasty!

Sunsheena said...

Do not use a red onion , I only had a red one not a brown one and it turned my soup a muddy brown colour .

Karen said...

I absolutely love your recipe! It is by far the most amazing thing I have ever cooked (with your help, of course) Though, I did modify it by only pulsing the blender until the mushrooms were in tiny pieces that could still be tasted in the mouth. I loved that texture!

Aidann said...

I just have to say...you do not dissapoint. I made this tonight. It was one of the most flavorful soups I have tasted. Really amazing! Thank you.

Aidann said...

I just have to say...you do not dissapoint. I made this tonight. It was one of the most flavorful soups I have tasted. Really amazing! Thank you.