Mushrooms remind me of a school teacher and her husband whom I used to work for in Cincinnati during the mid 1990’s. Together they assembled a distinct fine wine and craft beer portfolio which added greater variety to the food and wine culture of Ohio for many decades. In spring they would do humble but wonderful things like go to their farm in Indiana and harvest morels. Cooking mushrooms have such a complex earthy profile… it’s probably one of the sexiest aromas in the kitchen. Maybe a little spring fever there but it’s fitting.
This weekend’s projects included making “Potage aux champignons, Île de France,” mushroom soup, and baking bread. The first recipe by Julia Child straight out of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” the second by Michel Roux, Jr. from “The Marathon Chef.”
- ½ cup minced onions
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups hot water
- 4 cups milk
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 – 4 cups fresh mushrooms
- ½ cup heavy cream
- White pepper
- Lemon juice
- 2 – 3 tbsp. chopped tarragon
- Wash and trim mushrooms then set aside.
- Cook onions in butter, eight to ten minutes, and translucent but not caramelized.
- Add flour and stir for one minute.
- Remove from heat and whisk in ½ cup of hot water.
- Gradually blend in remaining water, milk, tarragon, salt & pepper.
- Simmer slowly while prepping mushrooms.
- Using a food processor shred ¾ of the mushrooms and slice the rest.
- Add the shredded mushrooms to the soup gradually and simmer covered for about thirty minutes.
- Using food processor puree the soup in batches then return to pot.
- Add the sliced mushrooms simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Turn heat off but leave on burner and rest for 30 minutes.
- Bring soup to a medium simmer.
- Add in an additional two to four tbsp. butter.
- Mix in ½ cup heavy cream.
- Blend in freshly chopped tarragon, white pepper, salt to taste.
- Carefully add in lemon juice by drops to give it a hint of acid.
- Serve with warm bread and a good Pinot Noir.