This weekend in NYC showed the two sides of fall. Saturday was the icky, gray, rainy sort of day that makes you want to stay inside all day (we did) and binge-watch The Blacklist (we did that too). Sunday, however, dawned bright and crisp, and didn’t look like it had ever seen a raindrop – the perfect day for a trip to the farmer’s market, a walk on the Upper West Side, and stumbling across some sort of heritage celebration/parade.
Both days, in their oh-so-fallness, were perfect for eating soup, which is fortuitous, since I have declared October “Soup Month.” This mushroom is one of my new favorites, a thisclose approximation of the recipe found in Moosewood Restaurant Favorites. (Just with a few modifications to make it a tad healthier and not-so-strict vegetarian). You can’t really go wrong with any of their recipes, honestly, but this one is especially delicious, earthy, and creamy – the perfect combination for a fall soup!
Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup
basically almost exactly from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites
Time: 45 minutes Serves 4-5
- 1.5 lbs mushrooms (white, cremini, baby bella, or a mix) – about 7 cups once prepped
- 2 T butter, divided
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.25 cups chopped celery
- 1.25 cups chopped, peeled carrot
- 1 tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh minced thyme
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
- 1.5 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
- 2 cups water or broth (I use chicken broth)
- 1-2 cups whole milk (depending on how thick you want your soup)
- 3 oz cream cheese (reduced fat ok, but NOT fat free)
- 1 T fresh dill – or more, if you really like dill, like me
Coarsely chop half the mushrooms and set aside; slice the remaining half of the mushrooms and set them aside too. You can use plain white ‘shrooms if you like, or feel free to mix it up with different varieties to get even more depth of flavor. (To up the mushroominess even more, consider adding a few drops of truffle oil – be still my beating heart!)
Melt 1 T of butter in your soup pot. Add onions and salt, and cook about 10 minutes. To the onions, add in celery, carrots, and dried thyme (if using fresh, save for the end of cooking.) Cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
Stir in the coarsely chopped mushrooms and paprika; stir until coated and the paprika just starts to bloom. Add in soy sauce and sherry, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook covered for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the potatoes and broth or water and bring to a simmer. Keep simmering for 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat a separate pan and saute the remaining half of the mushrooms with the remaining 1 T of butter. If you are using fresh thyme instead of dried, add it now. Cook for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
By now the potatoes should be cooked through. You can either use an immersion blender, or blend the soup in a regular blender, working in batches until everything is pureed and smooth. While pureeing, add the milk, cream cheese, and fresh dill. If you use a regular blender, be sure to remove the center of the blender lid to allow the steam to escape, and throw a towel over the top so you and your kitchen are not spattered with mushroom soup.
Return the pureed soup to the soup pot. Finally, add the sauteed sliced mushrooms to the smoothly pureed soup, and garnish with a little more fresh dill when serving.
Serve with a salad or some lovely crusty bread.
Moosewood notes that “you can omit the paprika and dill for a mildly-flavored cream of mushroom soup; and that sherry isn’t essential but rounds out the flavors nicely.”
I would like to note that I think this soup is perfectly perfect in every way – as long as you like mushrooms, of course.