Cream of mushroom soup was always on the list as a quick lunch option for my dad and I when I was a kid. Served with either a grilled cheese sandwich, a tall stack of alternating saltine-crackers-and-smears-of-butter, or with hot sourdough toast, and ALWAYS served with a side of the previous night’s Tonight Show on VHS, this soup spelled pure comfort. Make this soup just once, and you’ll never again be able to face dumping a can of milk into a glob of Campbell’s condensed soup, and chasing the lumps around with a wooden spoon. It’s easy, it warms you up, and the absurd amounts of butter and heavy cream ensure it stays with you all day.
One suggestion: If you don’t own one, and you think you may make this soup more than once in your life (you will), you should buy an immersion blender. While you can blend this soup in batches in the food processor, as we did today, it is awfully easy to make a mess with all that transferring and spooning and pouring and whirring in a non-watertight container. An immersion blender would make preparing this soup even easier.
Also note that we are going to set aside some of the sauteed mushrooms, and then add them back in after the rest of the soup is blended. If you don’t like chunks of mushroom in your soup, you can skip this part of the process, and blend everything together all at once.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse
- 4 + 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 chopped yellow onion
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 8 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
- 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter (1/2 stick) of butter in a stock pot. Add onions, celery, cayenne, salt, pepper, and thyme, and saute until onions become translucent. Add garlic, and saute about 30 seconds more. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a separate deep saute pan or medium saucepan. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms begin to brown and produce liquid. Add brandy, and saute until mushrooms glaze, about two minutes. Remove about two cups of the sauteed mushrooms and set aside. Add remaining sauteed mushrooms to the stockpot with onions and celery, add chicken stock, and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor, blend soup until smooth. Add the heavy cream, and the reserved mushrooms, and cook over medium heat for five minutes, or until soup is heated through. Serve with buttered toast.