We joined our good friends Jane and Mike for dinner at the Cavalier Inn in North Hammond, Indiana the other night. Best Polish food anywhere! Everything is homemade and handmade. Jane ordered mushroom soup that was superb. Below is my rendition. It's not quite the same, but I'm stubborn and intend to work on this recipe until I get it right.
Hearty Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, baby Bella and white
10 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
1 carrot, chopped fine
4 tbsp. flour
1 qt. beef stock
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
¼ tsp. dried thyme
Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Coarsely chop, but not too small. You want to see the pieces in the soup.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a 12 inch skillet. Add mushrooms. Sauté for 3 minutes, stir often. Pour the mushrooms into a bowl and set aside.
Melt another 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet. Add onions, celery, and carrot. Sauté until onion is transparent and carrot is soft. Stir frequently so as not to burn onion. Set aside.
In a heavy 6-quart saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Remove pan from the heat and whisk in the flour. Return pan to low heat, cook, whisk constantly for 3 or so minutes. Do NOT let this brown too much or it will be bitter. The roux should be no darker than a caramel/tan.
Remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool 10-15 seconds, then slowly pour in the stock while whisking constantly. Return the pan to a medium-high heat and stir until the soup base thickens and is smooth, approximately 12-15 minutes.
Stir in the vegetables and thyme. Simmer for 15 minutes, but be sure to stir occasionally.
Whisk 3 tablespoons of hot soup at a time into the cream until you’ve added approximately ½ cup. Reverse the process and slowly whisk the now-warm mixture into the soup.**
Bring soup to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat. Taste and season with pepper.
Serve from a tureen or in individual bowls.
This recipe makes 6 bowls
*In this recipe white pepper is used for its slightly sharper taste. There is no need to make a special trip to buy white pepper. Black pepper will work fine, just use a little more.
**This may seem like extra work, but if you don’t do it the cream will curdle.
May you enjoy all the days of your life around a well laden table!