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Mushroom Soup

Apr 11, 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Soup is hardly a meal for one. When I think of it, I visualize a mother distributing laddlefuls of soup to her children's plates from a big steaming pot, while they wait like baby birds around the table. The idea of cooking soup didn't seem very appealing until I discovered that it can be mending and comforting for the lonely souls too, and also nourishing as opposed to the toast I ate too often.   

One of the first things I've ever cooked in my life was mushroom soup which ended up looking and tasting like milk pudding. I find even the lousiest versions of mushroom soup delightful so even the failed recipe try-outs weren't gone to waste. I tried many different recipes since then, but I stopped searching after I ran into Julia Child's recipe. What lacked in others for me, the fact that mushrooms always fail to diffuse their flavor to the liquid, was compensated in her recipe by adding the mushrooms after shredding them. That way, what you eat is spoonfuls of mushrooms instead of mushroom flavoured liquid with occasional mushroom pieces.

Mushroom soup
This soup's excellence is not only owed to its taste but also to the simplicity of its technique. While preparing a soup base, whisking milk with the roux (the butter and flour mixture) is always tricky for it never ends up bump-free, at least in my experiences. However, when you coat onions with flour after cooking them with butter, as made in the preparation of this soup, the base you acquire is full-proof smooth. 

You know me, I love indicating a magical ingredient in each recipe and for this one, I'd say it's tarragon, an out of the box ingredient which gives this soup an unusual twist. But beware, for it can also be overpowering and unpleasing for some people. To avoid that, add tiny pinches at a time and taste it to see if you like it before you get more generous.

  Mushroom soup and bread

I recommend you to use cremini mushrooms or other type of wild mushrooms with the milder button mushrooms half and half. Adjust the amount of cream and milk according to your preferences of consistency and the amount of herbs and lemon to correct the taste. A squeeze of lemon or another pinch of white pepper makes a great deal of difference, so make sure to taste before serving. 




BidikI haven't given enough attention to Bıdık, my one year old cat and her adventures lately. Here, you see her playing her version of hide and seek.

Button and cremini mushrooms


serves 4

Recipe: Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2


  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups milk
  • pinch of dry tarragon
  • 250 gr mushrooms (a mix of button and cremini mushrooms)
  • 1 cup cream
  • ground white pepper
  • drops of lemon juice
  • salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced parsley or fresh tarragon


  1. Cook the onions slowly in butter for 8-10 minutes, until tender. Add flour and continue cooking for another minute. Remove from heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of hot water and whisk. Gradually, add the remaining water, then the milk, white pepper and tarragon. Bring to the simmer whisking with a wire whisk. Reduce heat and simmer slowly for a couple of minutes while stirring occasionally.
  2. Wash the mushrooms, grate or shred them with a food mill or a blender. Add to the soup base.
  3. Cook for 25 minutes over low heat, partly covered. If the soup you acquire at the end of this period is too thick to your liking, add more milk or hot water. Add cream and lemon juice. Season to taste. Serve with a drop of cream, chopped parsley or fresh tarragon.
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