Cream of mushroom soup is one of my all-time favourite soups and is perfect for the very chilly weather we are experiencing in Cape Town. It’s a soup that can be made in a variety of ways and is pretty forgiving in general. Exact measurements are not really necessary, and you can add whatever mushrooms you like or a mix of.
You can either make a bechamel sauce and then add that later to the sautéed mushroom, or you can do what I did, and cook them all in one pan. If you like brown soup and enjoy the texture of the mushrooms, then I suggest slicing them very thinly and not blitzing this soup. It will turn into a murky grey colour.
If the aesthetics are not an issue, then blitz the soup to get a creamy texture and reserve some of the uncooked mushrooms to pan-fried for garnish. How much cream you add is totally up to you. It seems to soak up a lot especially if you make it the day before and reheat it.
The beautiful bowl that my mushroom soup is styled in, comes from Setamono, an importer of exquisite Japanese tableware. You may well have spotted these pieces at a number of top-end restaurants in Cape Town over the last few years because up until now they were exclusively available to the hospitality industry.
Setamono has created an online shop and this exquisite range of crockery is now available to buy. They also sell from their small boutique in Cape Town.
I love that these are beautiful but also highly durable and why so many restaurants choose them. They are also unique and seldom seen outside Japan – often only in restaurants and homes in the areas surrounding the maker’s kiln.
These well-designed pieces are selected directly from Setamono for import to South Africa and with no middlemen and no excessive packaging, the price is kept to its best possible point.
With a philosophy to inspire cooks and delight guests with beautiful yet highly durable and functional tableware, I’ve partnered with Setamono in giving away R2500 worth of unique Japanese Ceramics. I’m running it on my Instagram page right now.
A few soup recipes you might like
Cooks Notes– I found using a very large frying pan easier to start off the process and to sauté the mushrooms and once wilted, I transferred them to a medium heavy-based pot to finish off the cooking process. I used 400 gms in the soup and then sliced about 100 gms of shitake which I pan-fried at the end in butter until golden. This is optional but I am after a food stylist. I’ve used parsley as my herb in and on the soup (along with a sprig of thyme), but chives would work well too.
Cream of mushroom soup
- 400 - 500 gms mushrooms including a few exotics such as shiitake for garnish – optional (I kept about 100gms of the 500 back to pan fry for garnish at the end)
- 40 gms butter
- 1 large shallot or half an onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 or 2 thyme stalks you can strip the leaves or just cook whole and remove the woody stalk later
- 1/3 cup 80ml white wine or medium cream sherry (I am quite heavy-handed here)
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 cup mushroom or porcini stock
- 1/3 – ½ cup of cream plus extra for garnishing
- A small handful of chopped parsley for garnish and for in the soup
- Slice the mushrooms and heat a large non-stick frying pan. Melt the butter and sauté the shallot (onion) until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and toss about the pan until they are just cooked and wilted.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or 2. Add the sherry and wine and let this bubble until most of the liquid has evapourated then add the 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for a further minute or two. Transfer this to a medium pot and slowly add about a cup of the milk allowing it to be absorbed and soak into the flour. Then add the rest of add the milk and the stock. Season with salt and a generous few grounds of black pepper and about half the parsley. Let this bubble on the stock for about 30 minutes over low heat.
- Process the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor/blender until smooth. Return to the heat and add the cream. This can be made in advance.
- Serves with pan-fried sliced mushrooms, another drizzle of cream, and the rest of the chopped parsley.
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