As I came from sunny Singapore (we only have hot and hotter seasons), the four seasons became quite a special thing after I moved overseas. Seasonal vegetables and fruits meant nothing to me when I was still living in Singapore - we usually can get them all year round. But here, it's so exciting to know that certain fruits and vegetables will start appearing in the market because of the arrival of a particular season.
Nowadays, the weather is getting cooler, and we crave for more soupy food like this mushroom soup. Another thing about the approaching autumn/winter is the early setting of the sun, which makes dinner food photography a real pain. We usually have dinner at 6 p.m. and the sky was perfectly lit and bright during summer, but nowadays by 5.30 p.m. it's so dark we need to turn on the lights. Now I'm exploring more soup recipes as I can make them ahead, sneak a small bowl for myself and for the blog, then have the rest for dinner with X.
It's extremely difficult to obtain Asian ingredients to make Asian-style soup, so I'm exploring more Western soups these days but before I tried out new recipes, I revisited the mushroom soup. Creamy soups are not my cup of
tea soup, but I was so in love with this new mushroom soup recipe that I regret not making a bigger portion on my first try (I ended up making it again the following week).
Making this soup is a little time consuming as the mushrooms need to brown and caramelise into a delightful golden colour, which can take up to 30 minutes. Then there's the 1 hour of simmering, so it's more suitable for a weekend meal. But it was so well worth the effort because it makes the soup so rich, delicious and mushroom-y. I used brown button mushrooms (aka cremini mushrooms) with a bit of dried porcini. The stock was just water from boiling potatoes (used them to make baked fries), but you can also use canned vegetable/chicken stock or bouillon cubes. I'll try to freeze a portion of the soup (before the addition of cream) to experiment if the soup is freezable, will update the results then!
|1) Cover porcini mushrooms with just enough hot boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes. Remove the porcini mushrooms and roughly chopped them up. Reserve the mushroom water.||2) Heat butter and oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add in onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent but not browned.|
|3) Add in mushrooms in batches and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have shrunk in size.||4) Add in a pinch of salt, garlic, thyme and some freshly ground black pepper.|
|5) As you cook, the mushrooms will release water.||6) Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom water has evaporated and the mushrooms are of a rich, golden brown colour. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes.|
|7) Add in flour and cook for 1 minute to get rid of any raw flour taste.||8) Add in the vegetable stock and reserved mushroom water. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 1 hour.|
|9) Scoop out ⅓ of the soup.||10) Blend the rest of the soup - I used an immersion blender, but you can also do it in batches with a standing blender.|
|11) Stir back in the unblended soup.||12) Stir in ½ to ¾ cup heavy cream and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.|
Creamy and Chunky Mushroom Soup
- 10 to 15 grams dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 400 grams brown button mushrooms / Portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 500 ml low-sodium vegetable stock, preferably homemade!
- Cover porcini mushrooms with just enough hot boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes. Remove the porcini mushrooms and roughly chopped them up. Reserve the mushroom water.
- Heat butter and oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add in onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent but not browned.
- Add in two handfuls of mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have shrunk in size. Add in another two handfuls of mushrooms. Repeat until all mushrooms have been added in.
- Add in a pinch of salt, garlic, thyme and some freshly ground black pepper. Continue cooking the mushrooms, stirring frequently. As you cook, the mushrooms will release water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom water has evaporated and the mushrooms are of a rich, golden brown colour. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add in flour and cook for 1 minute to get rid of any raw flour taste.
- Add in the vegetable stock and reserved mushroom water. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove the pot of soup from heat. Scoop out ⅓ of the soup and blend the rest. Stir back in the unblended soup.
- Soup can be made ahead until this point.
- When ready to serve, bring the soup back to a simmer then stir in ½ to ¾ cup heavy cream (try not to use light cream as it won't be thick). Don't bring the soup to a rolling boil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve immediately.