Mushrooms are a year-round pleasure, but their umami richness and diversity of taste seems most welcoming on winter’s dark days. Maybe that’s because mushroom mycelium grows on sterilized and pasteurized substrates, drawing nutrients from natural materials as diverse as coffee grounds, hardwood sawdust or pellets, and straw, to name a few. Unbelievably, manure joins the list, this last a requirement for growing the very common button mushroom.
All this earthiness is evident in a mushroom’s intense flavor, each having a taste unique to its species. Feature your favorite mushroom flavors in this earthy, creamy wild mushroom soup. The recipe uses a mixture of cremini mushrooms (basically a white button mushroom that’s been allowed to mature a bit) and golden shiitakes, mushrooms with intensely rich flavor originating in East Asian countries like Japan and China. The result is a soup with depth, each mushroom type balancing out the other.
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup Recipe
- 18 ounces mixed cremini (or baby portabello) and golden shiitake mushrooms, wiped and dried
- 3 shallots, minced
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 6 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the Recipe:
Trim mushroom ends and slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces.
Melt 2 T butter in a saucepan and sauté shallots for about 2 minutes, or until lightly softened.
Melt 5 T butter in the same skillet and add mushrooms. Sauté until lightly browned and liquid begins to release. Turn off heat and sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture. Return heat to low and cook, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes but do not brown the flour.
Add chicken broth to mushrooms by cupfuls, whisking after each addition until broth is incorporated into mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg and continue adding broth, whisking liquid until smooth. Simmer covered on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, let cool slightly, then purée 2/3 of mushroom soup in a blender, taking care with hot liquids. Pour puréed soup into pot and turn heat to low.
In heat-resistant measuring cup, whisk egg yolks into half-and-half. Whisk 2 tablespoons hot soup into cream mixture in batches, until 1/2 cup has been added. Slowly whisk the warm cream mixture into mushroom soup. Bring to a boil for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the remaining 1/3 mushroom soup to cream soup and heat on low until warmed throughout. Do not boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve in shallow bowls or mugs.