Wild Mushroom Soup

Serves 4


This perfect autumn recipe celebrates roasted wild mushrooms in a creamy soup that acts as a backdrop for them. You make the call here, selecting whatever wild mushrooms you like to suit your own taste. Feel free to combine varieties or to focus on one to really emphasize it. My advice is not to overthink the decision; go with whatever you are in the mood for and do it as boldly as possible.

Roasted Wild Mushrooms

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces assorted wild mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster,
     hen of the wood, chanterelle, black trumpet, cut into bite-sized pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the oil and garlic in a small mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Dip the mushrooms in the seasoned oil, shake off any excess, and place on a cookie sheet. (Be sure to shake off as much excess oil as possible to avoid turning the soup greasy.)

Roast the mushrooms in the preheated oven until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

Remove the mushrooms from the oven, cover with aluminum foil to keep warm, and set aside.

Mushroom Soup and Assembly

3 cups Chicken Stock or
     Basic Vegetable Stock (see the book)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
1 cup heavy cream (use up to 1/2 cup less
     if you like by diluting it with water)
1 teaspoon minced fresh chervil leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon minced chives
1 tablespoon sherry, or to taste

Pour the stock into a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Place the butter and garlic in another pot and cook over medium-high heat until the butter is melted.

Add the mushrooms to the butter and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms are tender but still white, 2-3 minutes.

Lower the heat and sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, stirring as you do.

Cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes, scraping the pan and stirring every minute or so.

Raise the heat under the mushrooms to medium and add the wine to the pot.

Add the simmering stock to the mushrooms, 1 cup at a time, stirring to avoid lumps. Cook for 10 minutes.

If making in advance, allow to cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month, keeping the button and wild mushrooms separate. When ready to proceed, allow to come to room temperature and reheat in a pot over low heat.

Add the cream, adjust the seasoning, and add the reserved wild mushrooms. If necessary, thin with some hot water. Add the chervil, tarragon, and chives to the pot.

Divide the soup among 4 soup bowls and drizzle with the sherry.

Options: This is a great vehicle for grated fresh black truffles. If you choose to shave some over each serving, omit the herbs.


Buy the Book!


Welcome to My Kitchen
A New York Chef Shares His
Robust Recipes and Secret Techniques
By Tom Valenti
HarperCollins, 2002
Hardcover, 336 pages
$29.95; $44.95 (CAN)
ISBN: 0060198192
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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