This week has been two things: Cold and hard. I swear there’s a Death Knight joke in there somewhere, but I’m not sure I have the energy to find it. Times like this when I can’t feel my fingers and just want something to warm the body and the soul.
That’s why I like this soup. It’s simple. It’s delicious. It’s warm. Aside from the chopping, it’s crazy easy.
It’s not a cure for depression, but it has alcohol in it so that’s pretty close, right?
This is one of those recipes where once you start doing it a few times, it gets easier to experiment with. One time I threw in some leftover chicken I had diced, once time I used onions too. This is a great one to practice on and really mix it up.
But let’s walk before we run, and the basic cast of characters is as follows: 8oz (225g) of mushrooms. Personally, I say find a variety that interests you. I like to grow my own oyster mushrooms, which… maybe I’ll show here some time. Lordaeron brown buttons, Elywnn white and Pandaren needle mushrooms, all of them will work in this. I’ve been making this a lot lately, cuz it’s pretty versatile.
Next you need 3 tablespoons of butter, the equivalent of 2 cloves of garlic (mine were small and I like things garlicy), a cup of heavy cream (250ml) — you can use half and half or even milk with the same effect — and two cups (500 ml) of broth. I’ve used chicken and garlic before and both were good. I might try a seafood broth at some point. I dunno. Experiment and let me know what you find out!
You also need about 2 oz of alcohol for deglazing. I use cognac. The bottle is cool. I like the taste. Bourbon, whiskey or any other darkish liquor will do. Fel, you can even just skip that part, probably. I also like catching things on fire so there’s that.
And last but not least, flour. Two tablespoons seems to be enough to get it the right consistency.
Now to work. With your mushrooms, remove the stems from the caps. Most people throw the stems away, but my rule of thumb is this: If the stems are woody, use them for stock or something. If they’re soft — fuck it, why waste food?
I never… -ever- waste food if I can help it. Food is a gift. One that should be shared with everyone.
Which is why our first step is to smash the caps down! My transitions are flawless.
We smush them to make them easier to slice. Like this–
And then from there, we chop. Or… dice. Or… make smallerize!
Do this to all of them, as well as the stems if they’re soft enough to eat. All smooshed. All sloosed. All smallerized. Get it?
Good. Now melt that butter down and while that’s melting, take a minute to slice up your garlic nice and fine. I can never do mine pretty so I’m not going to bore you with that.
Once the butter is melted, throw in your mushrooms and add a big dash of salt. Like maybe a teaspoon. You want to sweat the liquid out of the mushrooms.
Once the liquid starts to come off, keep cooking until it gets reduced down.
As soon as it dries up a little bit, add your garlic and cook it until it’s fragrant, less than a minute. Then toss on your flour.
Mix the flour around to soak up the last of the liquid until it become kinda sticky. The flour is what thickens it, but you wanna get it all bound up first.
Then… The booze.
I like to deglaze the pan. This is really useful in non-non-stick pans that get a crusty stuff at the bottom. That crusty stuff is called ‘fond’ and is delicious. I use a nonstick pan, so I pretend I have fond. Whatever, still tastes good. You can flambe this if you want, which is just adding fire to it to cook off the alcohol and pretend that you’re more badass than you really are.
Once the fire’s out (or not, I’m not a Kirin Tor cop, do what you want with your fire) add your liquids. It’ll take some stirring to make it smooth, but remember the flour will help it all bind together.
Bring it to a simmer and let the liquid simmer down. This is why we actually use 2 cups of broth instead of just one. If you’re using this for cooking, like with Happy Troll or the Lakeshire green beans, use only one cup broth to make it thicker and more intensely flavored. This version is for eating on its own.
So bring it to a simmer and let it boil down. You want to be able to coat the back of the spoon with it, or if you like it really thick, when you drag the spoon across the bottom of the pan, it should stay bare for a second. I tried to get video of this but failed. I’m so sorry.
Once it’s ready, it will be very hard not to eat while still boiling. Allow it about 5 minutes to cool, then dig in. Oh and remove your spoon first. It’s like a bay leaf, only for flavor while cooking.
…sure, that’s it.
- 8 oz (250g) of mushrooms, any kind, chopped
- 1 cup (250 ml) of heavy cream. Can sub half and half, or even milk
- 2 cups (500 ml) of broth
- 3 Tbls butter
- 2 Tbls flour
- About 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- About a shot of cognac or similar dark alcohol
- Destem the mushrooms and chop the caps fine. If the stems are edible, use them too. Waste not want not
- Melt the butter in a pan
- Add the mushrooms and top with salt
- Cook until liquid is mostly sweated out
- Add garlic, saute until fragrant
- Add flour and mix to combine
- Deglaze by pouring the alcohol in. Light on fire if you’re feeling adventurous
- Add the other two liquids
- Simmer until thickened
- Let stand 5 minutes, then serve