Born to be wild: This mushroom soup changed my life - Wild mushroom bisque recipe

Wild Mushroom Bisque


Adapted from Full on Irish by Chef Kevin Dundon


Serves 4


Ingredients:


2 tablespoons olive oil


4 tablespoons butter


1/2 medium-large sweet onion, finely chopped


3 cloves garlic, minced


8 ounces wild/gourmet mushroom blend (baby bellas, shiitakes, oyster, etc.)


3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme


6 tablespoons flour


1/2 cup dry white wine (like sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)


2 (14.5 ounce) cans vegetable broth


1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half


Salt and pepper, to taste


Reserved sautéed mushrooms and thyme for garnish


Directions:


1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, raise the temperature a bit and add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Let them sauté for 8-10 minutes, or until most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.


2. Sprinkle thyme leaves into the mushroom mixture, add in the flour and raise the heat to medium, constantly stirring for about a minute so the mixture doesn’t burn and the flour gets evenly cooked.


3. Whisk the white wine, let it simmer for about 30 seconds to reduce a bit, then whisk in the vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil, then quickly reduce the heat to low, letting it simmer, and stirring occasionally.


4. Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes, or until it is reduced and the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.


5. When it is at proper consistency, whisk in the cream and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Check the flavor and season accordingly with salt and pepper.


6. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool a bit before transferring the soup mixture to a food processor or blender (or you could even use an immersion blender if you have one). Set aside some of the cooked mushrooms for garnish, then puree the soup for a few seconds.


7. Pour the finished bisque into bowls or teacups (to be extra fancy), garnish with fresh thyme and cooked mushrooms and serve warm.

Mushroom soup used to be the bane of my existence.

First of all, mushrooms were number two on my list of most loathed foods (right under Brussels sprouts). Then came culinary school in 2006 where I was forced to make cream of mushroom soup in my basic skills class during the first semester. Of the numerous dishes we prepared in that class, the mushroom soup was by far my most dismal creation. To make matters even worse, we had to prepare it as part of a menu for our final practical examination to pass the class. Mine was a complete disaster: gray-colored, chunky and just plain horrible-looking (and tasting). I cried, literally, over that damn mushroom soup. Luckily, I was able to retake the exam, not screw up the soup as horribly, and pass the class.

Fast forward to last year. By this point, I had learned to accept mushrooms and had even become rather fond of them in certain dishes (but never raw). I visited Raglan Road in September of last year, the Irish restaurant and pub in Downtown Disney. Because of the high recommendation the waiter gave it, I went out on a limb and ordered the wild mushroom soup. This soup changed my life — well, it changed the way I felt about mushroom soup, at least.

This wasn’t anything like the soup we’d made in class. Served in a teacup, it was a pale brown with earthy nuances, creamy and had a slight sweetness to it. In short, it was amazing. It was definitely my “come to Jesus” moment with mushroom soup.

Ever since that ethereal experience, I have wanted to recreate that beautiful dish. Since it’s finally autumn (and actually feels like it here in Florida), I figured this would be the perfect time to roll out this comforting and satisfying soup. I’ve put my own touches on the original recipe by Chef Kevin Dundon of Raglan Road, because I always have to make everything my own way. Nonetheless, it still evokes the same taste memories of the soup I ate on that fateful September day.

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