Gratuitous recipe post

I just made myself what is quite possibly the second-best dinner I’ve ever eaten. (The best was duck ravioli from the late Cafe Balaban in St. Louis.) 

I made up the recipe as I went along. Here it is, but be forewarned: This ain’t diet food.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 stick butter (use the real stuff, please)
8 oz. button mushrooms
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
8 oz. oyster mushrooms
5 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 c. water
sprinkling of celery seed
1 tsp. rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp. smoked salt
2/3 c. heavy cream

Chop mushrooms finely and saute in butter over medium-low heat until they release  liquid. Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add bouillon, water, celery seed, rosemary, and smoked salt and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Add heavy cream. Cook until about half the liquid evaporates.

Yow. Za. What a great way to end a long, tiring week.


5 thoughts on “Gratuitous recipe post”

  1. A normal person would probably say this recipe makes four servings, but restraint has never been my specialty. I ate two big bowls of it and then saved a cup for Ron to try when he gets home.

  2. Emily, I am confused. The water, heavy cream, and butter add up to about 2 cups of liquid. That’s not much for even two servings (and then you simmer away half of it). So, are those mushrooms producing the additional liquid to make four servings? I know mushrooms release moisture, but would not have expected that much. It must be so, but I’ve never made mushroom soup from scratch. I plan on making your recipe when our oldest daughter comes in for Christmas. She is a vegetarian and she will love this. I suspect our whole family will.

  3. A pound and a half of mushrooms will release a startling amount of liquid — especially if the button mushrooms are very fresh, as these were. Between the mushrooms and the butter, I had about a cup and a half of liquid before I even added the water and cream. I had to let it simmer because it was too thin. You could probably save yourself some time by taking out a couple of tablespoons of the butter and browning it with a couple of tablespoons of flour to make a nice roux before you start, then adding the roux to soup when you put in the water and cream. That would eliminate the need to let the liquid evaporate and would yield a thicker soup. Also, I forgot to mention this above, but you need to stem the shiitakes. I didn’t know to do that, and it definitely detracted from the soup.

    You would end up with about four one-cup servings if you made it exactly as I posted it above. Adding a roux to the soup would probably give you an extra serving or two. The soup is very rich, so a cup should be plenty for the average person. I tend to be of the opinion that the four basic food groups are Butter, Mushrooms, Garlic, and Things That Don’t Taste As Good As Butter and Mushrooms and Garlic, so I ate about three cups of the stuff in one sitting. By the end, even I was beginning to think maybe it was time to stop.

  4. Ah, makes sense! I may use the roux approach to extend it or I might just double everything. Nothing wrong with some leftover soup in the fridge. Thanks for all the info

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