Last night was one of these nights. On my way home, Mrs. Thirsty asked me to pick up some simple white sandwich bread because she really just wanted a night of grilled cheese and Lipton® chicken noodle soup. So I stopped at the store, knowing that I was on my own for supper, I spent a little time looking around. After seeing some cream, brie and mushrooms, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at a cream of mushroom soup. Since Mrs. Thirsty already had her meal planned and she is the lactose free one in our little pair of misfits, I thought a cream soup would be nice. I don’t make cream soups all that often, because obviously I want my wife to enjoy a meal with me without the fear of the future pain shadowing the meal. This was a good opportunity to try creating a basic recipe that I could later convert to lactose free.
Cream of Mushroom Soup with Brie
This is one of those memories from my childhood before gluten was a problem. A warm bowl of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup® and a box of Triscuits® on a cool fall day is a heart warming memory for me. In this case I’m changing things up a bit but we’ll see what happens.
So I wound up with about 4 bowls and it took about 40 minutes to prep and cook. Like most soups, this could probably simmer for hours and taste even better for it but I wanted to eat before midnight.
Starting with about 15 brown mushrooms, I wiped the caps with a wet towel and took the stems off. I threw the stems in a medium sauce pot with some veggie stock and about a litre of water, capped it and set it on the stove to simmer.
The mushrooms were sliced up and then I minced a shallot. I also crushed 3 cloves of garlic and removed the husk.
I put the medium soup pot on medium-high heat and added about 50g of Yogurt Butter. I really like the flavour of this butter, there is a rich and tanginess to it that is just great to cook with. Once the butter had melted I added the mushrooms, shallots and garlic.
As the mushrooms released their water I threw in a few sprigs of thyme I had in the freezer, some fresh ground pepper, sea salt and about a half teaspoon of nutmeg.
The water was evaporated off and once the mushrooms were a nice brown and a few were just starting to show some fried texture I put about 100mL of red wine into the pot. It boiled really quickly and I gave it about 20 seconds to boil/reduce/deglaze the pan and added the stock to the mushrooms, pouring through a strainer to remove the mushroom stems. I turned the heat down to medium low, capped the pot and let it simmer while I worked on the cream.
Starting with a roux, I put about a table spoon of the Yogurt Butter into the pot that the stock was in, over a medium heat and added a tablespoon of chestnut flour. I was thinking that the earthy, nuttiness of the chestnut flour would go well with the mushrooms. Once the roux browned a little I added 600g of whole heavy cream, stirring constantly with a whisk. I turned the cream down to low and went to cut the rind off the brie. I used about half a wedge, not sure how much of the brie would come through. Chopping the brie into large cubes I added them to the cream and went back to whisking.
Once all the brie was melted, I poured the cream into the simmering mushroom stock mixture, brought the whole thing to a simmer and left the top half off, letting it simmer like that for about 20 minutes. The flavour of the soup was about what I wanted, but it was a little on the watery side so I added another 2 tablespoons of chestnut flour, let it simmer for 5 minutes and had a bowl.
Overall it turned out well. The flavours were really nice, the thyme a little more subtle than I wanted and it needed a little more pepper, but I was very satisfied.
Next time I try this I’d make the following changes/additions: