This earthy soup is perfect for taking advantage of autumn’s bounty of fresh wild mushrooms. In French, this delightfully rich soup would be called a Crème Agnès Sorel or Velouté de champignons.

Because it’s so creamy and rich I serve it as a luxurious special occasion soup in small cups, or even as an amuse-bouche or palate-tickler in even smaller cups or glasses before the first course.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from a book called Le meilleur de la cuisine française in the “Saveurs et Terroirs” series by Hachette. It might seem fussy to cook the mushrooms without the stock for 20 minutes, and you will be tempted to skip step 4. Please don’t! The mushrooms need this butter-braising process to really bring out their best flavour. And the result? You won’t regret it!


Ingredients

  • 5 medium shallots (about 5 ounces or 140 g), peeled
  • About 5 medium (3½ ounces or 100 g) button mushrooms, washed and drained
  • About 12 (3½ ounces or 100 g) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed (you can save the stems for the stock pot!)
  • About 3 (7 ounces or 200 g) cep or porcini mushrooms (you can also use cremini, or any type of wild mushroom you find at the market)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter
  • 2½ cups (600 ml) chicken stock, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • A few twists of the pepper mill
  • 1¼ cups (300 g) heavy cream

Directions

1Finely slice the shallots. Wash the button mushrooms in a bowl of cold water, lifting them out to leave the dirt which has sunk to the bottom.

2Clean the wild mushrooms with a damp cloth, wiping away the soil and/or leaves. Reserving a few of the best-looking mushrooms (your choice) for the julienne garnish, slice all the mushrooms finely.

3Melt 1½ tablespoons of the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook the shallots until they are very lightly browned, about 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

4Add all the mushrooms to the pot, cover, and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes.

5Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then simmer over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes more.

6In the meantime, julienne the reserved mushrooms, and sauté them over medium heat in the remaining butter for about 3 minutes.

7Finally, add the cream to the soup, bring to the boil again, and simmer on low heat again, this time uncovered, for 15 minutes.

8Remove from the heat, and purée the soup using a wand mixer. Taste, season, and serve in small bouillon cups or small bowls. Decorate with the sautéed mushroom strips. Bon app’!

Originally published on our sister site, France Today

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