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Nothing embodies the earthy flavours of autumn more that mushrooms. The Japanese word ‘umame’ means a taste sensation produced by glutamates. It’s sometimes considered a 5th basic taste along with bitter, sweet, salty and sour. And mushrooms dish this out in spades.
You can use simple button mushrooms or a combination of wild mushrooms such as chanterelles and porcini. With a soup like this, try and experiment with different flavour profiles. This has a traditional French feel, so adding in truffle, thyme or rosemary would be perfect. You could also go more Moroccan, and spice it up with some cardamom, turmeric, paprika and garlic.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms – thinly sliced
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup Beef stock or vegetable stock
- 2 cups half-and-half
- ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground pepper
- Melt butter in a heavy sauté pan over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and sauté until golden. Add the mushrooms and sauté until brown. Stir in the flour, and then slowly add the stock, stirring constantly.
- Heat the half-and-half in a saucepan over low heat. Add it to the mushrooms along with the nutmeg, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer over low heat until the flavours meld, about 10 minutes. Do not boil. If it starts to get too thick, throw in a couple of ice cubes. Remove the bay leaf and serve.
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No Soup for You
If your family is like mine, and are not huge soup fans, I would suggest thickening it by reducing on the stove. You can use it as a sauce for baked chicken, green beans, baked potatoes or steak.
Mushroom Risotto with Dairy-Free Pastry