I love mushrooms. It’s that simple. I like to grill them, sauté them, slice them, dice them – give me an excuse. They are savory and full-bodied and, to me, the bacon of vegetables. It makes everything better.
My all time favorite is a hearty mushroom soup. Give me a chilly fall day, a bowl of mushroom soup, and a handful of crusty bread and I am in heaven. I’m not a huge fan of super creamy soups. And when I scrolled around the internet most of the recipes involved eye-watering amounts of cream or butter or both. Then I found this recipe from the late, great Anthony Bourdain.
There is a special place in my heart for Anthony Bourdain. He was a talented chef and an amazing writer. If you are unfamiliar with his work, I highly suggest you seek it out.
As much as I respect his genius, I did make a few changes. His recipe calls for 12 oz of mushrooms, but I don’t buy mushrooms in that quantity. Instead of trying to weigh out the 12 oz, I just went with a 16oz container. After all, can you have too many mushrooms? I also left out the cooking sherry. Even he said that was alright if you don’t have really good cooking sherry. I didn’t and doubt I ever will. So it got kicked out of the recipe.
I used Mycopia Mushrooms’ Chef’s Sampler pack. There are 16oz and 8oz tills available on FarmLink. We also have mixed mushrooms from Mycophile that are gorgeous. You really can’t go wrong. Well, I take that back, I think you can go wrong by only using a single variety of mushrooms. I feel that way about most recipes. The more layers of flavor the better. So mix it up. See what goodies you can find at your local farmers’ market. Ask the farmer what they would recommend. Just save dried mushrooms for a different recipe. They are much more potent than fresh mushrooms and adjusting for that could prove tricky.
I am a huge fan of mise en place which is a fancy French way of saying chop and measure everything first, then start cooking. It saves a ton of heartache. Especially when you are sure you bought onions but then cannot find them ANYWHERE. So get everything chopped and ready before starting. You will thank me later.
Before you get nervous about chopping the mushrooms remember, you are going to blend this all to velvet with an immersion blender. When the recipe says roughly chopped, we mean it.
This recipe is deceptively simple. That’s part of what makes it so good. I toyed with it a little to bring the butter quantity down – from six tablespoons to two. You can add more if you want but I didn’t miss it. Totally up to you.
1. Melt butter over medium heat. Cook onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Don’t let the onions or the garlic brown.
2. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan. Cook about 8 minutes
3. Add the chicken stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and low simmer for 1 hour.
4. Remove the thyme and blend with an immersion blender to the consistency your prefer.
Of course you can use a traditional blender, but please make sure you let the soup cool first! There are too many stories of impatient people putting hot soups in a blender and having it end up all over their kitchens. Burns hurt really badly! Immersion blenders are inexpensive and save you that worry.
If you like a chunkier texture, you can take about 1/3 of the soup out before you blend it. Then add it back after you are done blending.