Drawing on the distinct flavour profiles of several mushroom varieties, this cream of mushroom soup is complex and satisfying. A drizzle of truffle infused olive oil tops off this combination beautifully.
There is a great range of mushrooms at the Saigon markets that I frequent. Wonderful bold shiitake mushrooms, both large and small, fresh and dried. Most of the other mushrooms though are quite subtle in flavour, befitting their place in Vietnamese cuisine. Button mushrooms are available in some places.
Very rarely – portobello mushrooms. I make the most of it when I can get these varieties, which was the case on the day I created this cream of mushroom soup.
Using dried mushrooms
This mushroom soup would be great without the dried mushrooms. Using them though provided a big umami boost and another layer of mushroom flavour. Since discovering the amazing flavour contribution of dried mushrooms, they have become an important component in a number of delectabilia dishes. For example this Farfalle pasta with wild mushroom cream sauce.
Dried mushrooms can be quite expensive, and while it is a case of you get what you pay for, the more affordable products are still a great flavour for the money ingredient.
Dried mushrooms, including the water you soak them in, have an amazing earthy flavour that certainly enhance this cream of mushroom soup. But be warned, the grit is a challenge. A great post on the topic of dried mushrooms and grit is at thekitchn.com. One important learning is that the water you use to rehydrate these mushrooms is at least as important as an ingredient as the mushrooms themselves.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 400 g button mushrooms
- 200 g shitake mushrooms
- 200 g portobello mushrooms
- 100 g beech mushrooms for garnish
- 20 g dried shiitake mushrooms or dried porcini would work too
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock if not vegetarian
- 2 onions
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tomatoes
- 20 g butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 egg yolks
- 200 ml cooking cream
- 1 Tbsp truffle oil
- 1/2 cup radish sprouts
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- Wash all the mushrooms
- Put 2 cups of water in a pot and bring to the boil
- Roughly chop one onion and tomatoes and add to the pot.
- Remove the stalks from all the mushrooms and add to the pot
- Remove the stalks from the parsley and add to the pot
- Add the dried mushrooms to the pot.
- When the water and vegetables come to a boil reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
- Chop the all the mushrooms except the baby ones
- Finely chop the other onion and garlic cloves.
- Sauté onion and garlic in the butter and olive oil
- When onions are becoming transparent and starting to brown, add the chopped mushrooms.
- Cook until the mushrooms have reduced in size and the most of the moisture they emit has evaporated
- Strain the vege stock into a large pot and add the two cups of chicken stock
- Retrieve the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, cut off the stems, and dice up the rehydrated mushroom flesh to the stock.
- Add the black pepper and nutmeg.
- Add the sautéed mushrooms, onion, and garlic and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then use an immersion blender or food processor to blend until smooth.
- Strain through a sieve to remove any larger bits.
- Rinse the pot and return the strained liquid to it. Return to a simmer.
- Sauté the baby mushrooms.
- Lightly whisk the egg yolks into the cream.
- Add the fish sauce to the soup.
- Slowly add the whisked cream and eggs, stirring all the time
- After a few minutes the soup should thicken.
- Halve the baguettes. Top with grated cheese mixed with parsley.
- Grill for a few minutes until cheese is melted.