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A soup of fine flavour – French mushroom

April 11, 2010

I mentioned a few posts back that my recent absence was caused by a (lengthy) case of appendicitis (and subsequent appendix removal). While I was living on crumpets, my mum wrote up this mushroom soup recipe for me to share. The soup is very different from the mushroom and brown rice soup I recently posted. It’s thick and rich and certainly very French. It’s perhaps not a dish that photographs particularly well, if made correctly it’s a thick grey soup.

Cris (my mum) says…

Potage aux chamignons à la Bressane

A Soup of Fine Flavour

Elizabeth David introduced me to all things wonderful about Mediterranean and French provincial cooking in the early ‘70s. Her cookbooks are all words, no lists and no pictures:

Unexacting, ordered and served with a minimum of fuss is how she describes French country cooking and this soup is quintessentially just that.

This is the streamlined version of Elizabeth David’s chatty recipe.

You”ll need

  • 300g mushrooms
  • 50g butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • nutmeg
  • 1 tblsp chopped parsley
  • thick slice of crustless bread
  • 50-100ml cream (or sour cream), heated
  • 750 ml stock (or perhaps a tad more, depending on the bread).
  • Pepper

To cook

Cover the bread with some of the stock.

Wipe mushrooms and chop roughly (skin and stalks included). Then sweat them in the melted butter. When soft add the garlic, parsley and seasoning and stew for a few minutes.

Squeeze the extra moisture from the bread and add to the mushrooms. Stir till it amalgamates. Add all the stock and cook for 15 minutes. Next, either blend the soup in a food processor, or with a stick mixer, or if truly dedicated put it through a mouli or sieve. Return it to the saucepan, add the heated cream, another tablespoon of parsley chopped very finely and voila!

This is taken from Elizabeth David’s French Cooking, printed in 1960.  For some reason the recipe doesn’t appear in the later collected editions of her French cooking recipes. It isn’t a pretty soup, but very very yummy indeed.

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