When I was in kindergarten my favourite lunch to have when I came home from school was half a tuna sandwich (on toast, of course) accompanied by a small bowl of Campbell's stock standard Cream of Mushroom soup. To this day I still like a bowl of the stuff as it is quite comforting and nostalgic for me. However my more adult palate craves something a bit more robust, a soup that celebrates the rich, earthiness of mushrooms rather than providing you with little more than a spoonful of heavy cream.
With this week's #sundaysoup I aimed to satisfy my adult palate while still providing the comforting feeling of the mushroom soup I loved when I was young. Loosely based off of the mushroom soup recipe found in the Balthazar Cookbook, this soup pairs button and shitake mushrooms with a middle English ballad (also a Simon and Garfunkle hit) to amplify the earthiness that makes a great mushroom soup. Supported by rich flavours from beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar, this soup is filling and will knock the socks off of your taste buds.
A Grown-Up Mushroom Soup
a generous drizzle of olive oil
3 tbs butter
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 lbs of Mushrooms chopped (I used a combination of white button mushrooms, shitake & cremini)
2 leeks, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
a few leaves of fresh sage, chopped
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 beef stock cube
water, to cover
1/4 cup of cream (I used whipping cream because that's what I had in the fridge)
3 tbs of balsamic vinegar
3 tsp of worcestershire sauce
First, chop up all of your mushrooms and leeks. Getting this prep out of the way makes this soup a breeze to make. Once you've done that, heat your olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Throw in the sprigs of rosemary and thyme to flavour the oil. When the oil is fragrant, remove the herbs and set to the side. Add the leeks and garlic and cook in the oil until softened but not too browned. Add in the mushrooms, parsley and sage and turn up the heat to high and cover. The high heat will help the mushrooms release their liquid quickly, so be sure to stir occasionally to allow all of the mushrooms to be exposed to the high heat.
When the mushrooms are cooked, crumble in the beef stock cube and pour in enough water to cover the mushrooms by about 3 centimetres. Toss in the rosemary and thyme sprigs you set aside as well as the balsamic vinegar and worcestershire sauce and some salt and pepper.
Let simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and take out the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Add in the cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Then using an immersion blender or a food processor, blend the soup until smooth. Taste and add more worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar or salt and pepper, if you think its needs it!
When satisfied, return to heat to warm through and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some crusty bread on the side and enjoy!