I grew up with the generation that ate many canned condensed soups for lunch: Cream of Tomato, Chicken Noodle, Vegetable Beef...one of my favorites though, was Cream of Mushroom to which I always added a slice of American cheese. I thought this time I'd make the "grown-up" version. This makes a great starter and even tastes great with a roast beef sandwich. —inpatskitchen
Test Kitchen Notes
Inpatskitchen has created a soup that appears deceptively simple when, in fact, it has subtle layers of flavor -- all of which happen to be deeply satisfying on a winter night. She begins with essentially a stock made with porcini mushrooms that could practically stand on its own. Her instruction to use a light lager is perfect for the way it deepens the overall flavor. Finally, she gilds the lily by adding shiitake mushrooms and then swirling in some good cheese. From start to finish, it takes minutes to make, and will keep you content through a long winter's night. —boulangere
about 2 quarts
dried porcini mushrooms
Fat leek (white and pale green parts) sliced lengthwise and then cut crosswise in 1/4 inch half moons
Clove garlic, minced
butter, divided (3/3)
fresh thyme leaves
12-ounce bottle light lager
Shiitake mushroom caps sliced about 1/4 to 1/3 inch
Gruyère cheese, finely shredded
Salt and pepper for re-seasoning
In This Recipe
Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour the boiling water over. Let stand to re-hydrate for 20 to 30 minutes.
In a medium size soup pot, gently sauté the sliced leek and minced garlic in 3 tablespoons of the butter, until the leek softens but does not brown. Stir in the thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle and stir in the flour while on medium heat for just a minute or two. Add the beer and bring up to the boil, stirring.
Strain the porcini liquid and then add it to the pot along with the re-hydrated porcini. Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture up to a boil and then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Cool the soup and then process it in a blender, in batches, until smooth. You may still see flecks of the Porcini but that's a good thing. Return the soup to the pot.
In a large sauté pan cook the sliced Shiitake caps in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter until they lightly brown. Add them to the soup and then bring the pot back up to a boil.
Stir in the cream, lower the heat a bit and then add the shredded Gruyère a half handful at a time while constantly stirring. Re-season the soup with salt and pepper and serve!
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!