Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup--Barefoot Bloggers

I was excited to try the second Barefoot Blogger's recipe for September, Ina's Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup selected by Chelle of Brown Eyed Baker. This recipe was from The Barefoot Contessa's "Mystery Guest" episode where one of Ina's fabulous friends brings a surprise guest (Mel Brooks) to her house for dinner. This was also the episode that gave us the Parmesan Chicken we made in June and Ina also served Blini with Smoked Salmon. Damn Ina, that is a lot of rich food-I hope Mel made it out with his arteries intact!

I make a lot of soup but have never made cream of mushroom soup before. Wild mushrooms aren't cheap here and I probably should have tried to reduce the fat content a bit but I thought if I was gonna do it--go big! and I bought all the ingredients listed. I'll apologise now for the pictures--I started out strong but was multitasking with my Royal Foodie Joust entry and I had the almost tragic finger tip removal incident. By the time I got the soup plated and ready to shoot pictures my throbbing finger and I were so over it that I just kind of snapped a few quick ones of the finished product.
You can find the recipe here on Food Network or on page 48 of The Barefoot Contessa At Home.

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
by Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
Yields 5-6 servings

5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
5 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms
5 ounces fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Don't wash them! Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if there are big, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, the onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not, add some water.
Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown.
Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.

Results: This is a very creamy, decadent, flavorful soup--I would definitely reduce the fat if making it again. It was a lot of steps but it went together easily. I served it with some baguette slices rubbed with garlic, drizzled with olive oil and sea salt and crisped in the oven, then topped with goat cheese, black pepper and a sprig of fresh thyme. (Yum!) Truth be told, although I liked the soup, I was more interested in the cheese toasts than the soup itself the night I made it. It wasn't until my third bowl, a couple days later that the flavors seemed to pop and I really loved the soup. I think it definitely is better after sitting around for a couple days. You can check out how the other Barefoot Bloggers liked it here.

Great choice in recipes Chelle! Come join us at Barefoot Bloggers (you can get the scoop about this fun blogging event here). If you join now you can delight in cooking the incredibly wonderful recipe picks from Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook and well...ME! It seems that a couple of people are no longer Barefoot Bloggers and I am the second pick in October now. (Woo hoo--moving on up!) I sent my pick in to Tara today so tune in soon to see what yummy dishes Rachel and I have selected!


  1. Sorry about your near tragedy but the soup looks yummy! And the pics are lovely. I, too felt the soup was better as a "left-over" than on the first day.

    I'm sure your October selection will be inspired!

  2. the soup sounds delicious the toasts look great too :) hope your finger is healing nicely.

  3. How is your finger doing? I was just thinking about you while I was chopping something in the kitchen and winced about your incident. Your soup looks lovely, now that I see all of the yummy leek photos I keep thinking I should have used them as instructed. Oh-well. We had the entire soup gone the first night so I can't comment on the leftovers but I'm sorry we didn't have any, I'd love to see how the flavors melded with age. Soup is almost always better the second and third night :) Great photos, you are making me want to make this one again!

  4. I am really impressed that you persevered with your sore finger. Good for you - I think I would have been keener on the toasts as well. A lot of cream wasn't it!

  5. I love your cup/bowl and especially your spoon.
    Wonderful soup, we thought it was better the next day too.
    I am craving your cheese toasts, they look so good. I can have them for breakfast, can't I?

  6. Sorry about the finger, but I'm glad you had some nice cheese toasts to make you feel better. The soup look so purdy in that striped bowl and those toasts would have sent me over the edge too. Tough to beat good bread. Can't wait to see your Oct. pick.

  7. Sorry about your finger -- you sure were a trooper to play through that pain! You know, good cheese toasts often distract me from whatever else is on the menu. They can be show-stealers that way! I'm glad you liked the soup, too -- your pictures are really pretty!

  8. Decadent is the word! What a beautiful soup! Sounds like a really good autumn recipe for me to try.

  9. Looks delicious! I hope your finger makes a speedy recovery!

  10. Wow, you really did go all out didn't you? I'm going to have to read about your almost missing finger soon. I've got to get back to work though.

  11. This soup definitely got better with time and if for some reason I were to make it again, I would for sure remove a lot of the fat! Nice work :)

  12. Being an Ina fan, I've always looked at this recipe and desperately wish Iliked mushrooms!

    I could probably eat it if the mushroom were all pureed; I just can't eat them whole. But man, does it look good.

  13. Hope your finger is better. Your soup looks delicious and the goat cheese toasts yum!

    Can't wait to make what you pick!

  14. oh no, sorry about your incident!! your soup looks great. i also can't wait to see what you choose for us next month! :)

  15. Wow, I can't believe you took any pics at all with your finger throbbing like that! The funny thing abou this soup is that it looks good to me even though I don't care for mushrooms! Go, figure!

  16. I have never been a huge fan of mushroom sopup until now,. I quite enjoyed it and so did L'il Burnt Toast:D

  17. Wow great pictures and great looking soup! I hope your finger is okay!! I'm going to check out your Foodie Joust entry now!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  18. Hope your finger is healing. Ouch! Your cream of wild mushroom soup looks so yummy. I'm going to try to make one of my own.

    I've been contemplating what to make for the joust (my first), and your recipe almost caused a loss of courage. The ingredients are still in my fridge or garden, just waiting...

    But it's just too much fun to pass up, even if my recipe is so much lamer than yours.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll be checking back with you.

  19. Ouch! Sorry about your finger, but your soup looks great.

  20. Your post looks great, although I was terrified to click on the "finger incident" link. Whatever happened, I hope you are okay....

    Great Job on the Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup!

  21. Aaahhh! A close-call finger tragedy is definitely not good.
    The creamy mushroom soup looks so delicious and your pictures are beautiful. I absolutely LOVE your soup bowl and plate. Very cute! =D

  22. Thanks everyone for your comments and concern about my finger. (Have I been milking that for all its worth or what?!) It is much better than it was--only a little sore, so I'll stop whining now!

  23. I love all your photos. Particularly the presentation of the soup in the blue & white cup.

    Hope you finger is better!


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