Bonjour, Soup Season
Mon Grandmere used to say "Soup is liquor for the soul," and I think she may have been on to something. I mean, what is more comforting that breathing in the steam of a warm bowl, heavy silver soup spoon in one hand, hunk of crusty baguette in the other? This is the joie de vivre!
Here on the East Coast of America, we are experiencing "the in-betweens"... you know, those "one day you're bundled under a cashmere throw and the next you're sipping a chablis on the veranda" kind of temps. Make no mistake though, it's autumn. Fortunately, I live less than 40 miles from Kennett Square, PA (aka, the mushroom capital of the world) so, my first go-to soup of the season, CREME DE CHAMPIGNONS.
There are a million ingredients that pair beautifully with mushrooms... bacon, cheese, potato... beef, barley, even seasonal beans... the combos are endless.
But because we're in the last weeks of mushroom season and I was able to source the biggest, freshest, earthiest 'shrooms of the harvest, I chose to let them stand alone.
What You'll Need
4 cups fresh mushrooms. Don't used canned for this. 1. The sodium levels are too high. 2. You won't achieve the flavor that you're going for and your efforts will be in vain.
4 cups chicken stock (or broth, but stock is better). I make my own and freeze it. Simmer your poultry bones in 4 cups of water. It's that easy! I add a dollop of Better than Boullion paste for wow factor.
4 cups heavy cream. If you are enjoying a keto diet, this is for you! If you are counting calories, you may want to skip this recipe, or enjoy in moderation.
4 slices of thick sliced bacon. (See above... same rules apply)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Bottle of Brut Champagne or a dry, sauvignon blanc.
Let's Make Soup
Fry the bacon. Oui, you can bake it on a tray, but you are going to want the yummy rendered bits, so best to just fry in a heavy bottom pan or skillet. Pour yourself a glass of bubbles. Sip. Remove the bacon, leave the grease.
Toss chopped mushrooms into the pan and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until soft. Sip bubbles.
Scrape the bacon bits from the pan to ensure that all the flavor is in your soup, not your sink. Toss the entire contents of the pan into an already warmed stock pot (you don't want the 'shrooms to get cold in the transfer).
Pour chicken stock over the mushrooms and bring to a boil. Toss in crumbled bacon bits and rosemary sprigs. Cover and allow all the flavors to come together in a simmer, 15-20 minutes. Sip bubbles (save at least 1/2 cup, you're going to need it).
Now, SLOWLY stir in heavy cream and SLOWLY bring to a rolling SIMMER. You do not want to boil the cream or it will "thin" and never rethicken. Taste for flavor. Pinch of pink salt? Twist of black peppercorn? If you love garlic, toss in a shaved clove or two.
Add a heavy splash of champagne or sav blanc. (Sherry would also work here, get creative!)
Cover your soup pot and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool to a safe slurping temperature. Ladle into a shallow soup bowl and garnish... with anything. I like walnuts and parsley, but scallions, frommage bleu, sage, onion cracker... whatever you like. Buttered crusty baguette is optional, but highly recommended! Voila.
Do you have a favorite Fall soup or simmer? S'il vous plait, share! Connecting over seasonal recipes is chic autumn living.