Creamy Mushroom Soup (without the Cream)

mushroom soupVelvety, creamy mushroom soup is an all-time favourite. I used button mushrooms and added flavor with dried porcini. Finished it off with some good quality sherry and mascarpone instead of cream. The result was a very tasty, hearty soup suitable for a TV dinner or a formal evening with the boss. Season it well with salt and plenty of black pepper and serve with sautéed mushrooms and an extra dollop of mascarpone. A dear friend recently told me, that she uses philadelphia cheese whenever the recipe calls for cream. In this case, I think it’s an excellent substitute for mascarpone if you don’t have any or can’t be bothered to rush to the supermarket.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg button or mushrooms, cut in half or quarters if too big
  • 2 Tbs dried porcini mushrooms
  • 150 grams unsalted butter (you can get away with 100 grams if you prefer to use less butter)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 3 parsley sprigs
  • 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 4 cups boiling water (use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
  • ½ cup good quality sherry
  • 100 grams mascarpone, plus extra for serving (you can omit the extra, the soup is also fantastic served plain)

Method

In a small bowl add the dried porcini and 1/3 cup boiling water. Leave to soak until needed.

In a large pot, over medium heat, melt half the butter. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft. Add the button mushrooms and the remaining butter. Cook for one minute, and then add the thyme, parsley, the porcini and all their soaking liquid and the stock. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes.

Remove any leftover thyme and parsley sprigs from the pot (don’t be too fussy here, just get rid of any hard parts). Transfer the mushrooms with their liquid in a glass blender. Do this in batches if you have to. Blend on high speed until very smooth.

Return soup in the pot. Add the sherry and mascarpone. Mix well over low heat. Season very well with salt and plenty of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve plain, or with some sautéed mushrooms and extra mascarpone.

Note: If you wish to serve the soup with extra mushrooms, leave some out of the soup, slice and cook in 1-2 tablespoons of butter, over high heat.

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