Cream of Mushroom SoupI’m kind of a late bloomer when it comes to mushrooms (forgive me, I tried to think of a mushroom pun and this was all I could come up with. Mushrooms “bloom”, right?). It was only a few years ago that I realized that I do, in fact, enjoy mushrooms, but only if they’re cooked in certain ways.

For instance, to me, a sliced, raw button mushroom tastes like moldy, damp styrofoam. No thanks! Also, mushrooms that have been cooked at a low temperature until they get wet and slimy make me want to hide them under the couch. I realize that this is completely my personal forage phobia (ha!) and most people enjoy mushrooms without all this drama.

But! But! But! If you cook a mushroom (pretty much any kind), over high heat and don’t move it around too much, magic happens. It gets beautifully brown and caramelized, without getting that musky rubberiness that, for me, is so unappealing. Toss in some fresh herbs and a little wine or sherry and a pat of butter… heaven.

Now that I know this secret about mushrooms, I’ve become much more open to trying different varieties, cooked different ways. In fact, a couple of days ago, I shocked Matt by saying “I’m thinking about making mushroom soup.” Now, bear in mind that he’s suggested making mushroom soup many times over the years, and I’ve always responded with the “Hell no, that’s gross, eeew, how can you suggest something so vile” face. Everyone has that face, right? So you can imagine his surprise at this dramatic turnaround. Luckily, his desire for mushroom soup was stronger than his impulse to call me a hypocrite. Clever boy.

What I like about this recipe from The Balthazar Cookbook is that it’s packed with mushrooms so it ends up nice and thick, not watery at all. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. I cut down on the oil and cream (the original recipe called for a 1/2 cup of olive oil and a full cup of cream) and I actually forgot to add the butter at the end and didn’t miss it at all. I also changed the herb combination somewhat, since I find rosemary can be overwhelming and I love thyme with mushrooms. And I also added a bit of sherry because…  because a bit of booze makes everything yummier.

In case you’re wondering, on top is a bit of toasted bread with goat cheese, honey and pecans mixed in and some cracked black pepper on top.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup Cream of Mushroom Soup