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Friday, January 7, 2011

Paris Mushroom Soup - French Fridays with Dorie

It's a good thing I like mushroom soup.
Our neighborhood has a New Year's Eve progressive dinner; this year it was my turn to do the soup, and I made a huge pot of mushroom and chestnut soup with Parmesan cream, a recipe I got from NPR, of all odd places. It was delicious, but we'd just finished eating the leftovers when this soup came up for French Fridays.

So many mushrooms!

One stalk of rosemary packs a lot of punch when it's simmered in broth for 20 minutes. The recipe says that the rosemary sprig will lose its leaves after being simmered.

I doubted that; the leaves looked firmly attached. Amazingly, after 20 minutes, the rosemary stalk was a shadow of its former self.

The mushrooms cook down nicely. Every step of this soup took longer than I anticipated. It took at least 10 minutes (rather than the 3 suggested by the recipe) for the onions and garlic to soften, and at least another 10 minutes for the mushrooms' juices to boil away. So, although this is an easy recipe, it's not as quick as I thought it would be.

I love the idea of the "salad" at the bottom of the soup bowl: sliced mushrooms, parsley, and scallions (no chives because I'd already spent enough money on out-of-season herbs--I miss my little herb garden, now covered by two feet of snow).

I used my Christmas-present immersion blender to puree the soup. I don't know how I ever got along with it--so much easier than pureeing batch by batch in the food processor, especially if you have to wait for the motor to cool down between batches.

The salad is such a nice textural contrast to the smooth soup. And there are a lot of flavors too: the rosemary comes through in every bite. The parsley (an underused and underregarded herb, in my opinion) added brightness and the scallions a little bite.

The creme fraiche is a rather unattractive sinking dollop at first, but when it begins to melt, it makes pretty, creamy patterns.

This is just a wonderful soup. It's warm, comforting, delicious, and even interesting to eat. I'm not sure if it's better than the mushroom-chestnut-Parmesan cream soup than last week, but it's at least as good. And I love having two super mushroom soups in my repertoire. To think that I used to think that mushroom soup = Campbell's.

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By the way, I never posted about Gerard's mushroom tart--but here's proof that I made it:


  1. This soup (as all soups) finds its grace with patience. I thought it even better the next day.

  2. I'm going to have it for lunch today--looking forward to it. I loved the glass cups that you served your soup in.

  3. Both look great! Wishing I had another bowl of soup today, too! :)

  4. Jessica,
    I think it might have been even better the second day.

  5. Looks good Marie! I've also made the mustard tart but never posted.

  6. I miss my immersion blender! (I broke mine, boo.) Your soup looks lovely, as does the tart.

  7. Jenn,
    This is a good cookbook, isn't it? I haven't hit a dud yet.

    That's the trouble with getting attached to all this equipment--you can get along without it just fine before you have it, but then you get spoiled. I lived for well over 50 years without a KitchenAid, but now I couldn't live for a day.

  8. Two feet of snow? really do need soup! Yours looks delicious. (And the npr soup sounds interesting too!)

  9. Soup and tart look terrific! The tart would be a nice side with the soup. Everything took longer for me too, but still worth the time!

  10. I was given an immersion blender years ago and was very skeptical about its usefulness. Once I used it, though, I couldn't imagine being without it! Your soup and mustard tart turned out well.

  11. Scrambledhenfruit,
    Yes, can you tell I'm feeling sorry for myself this winter?

    Totally worth the time--it still wasn't that long, just longer than I thought it would be.

    You are so right--when I first looked at it, I thought it would turn out to be one of those worthless gizmos that they sell on late-night TV. But I was so wrong.