It’s officially winter and although we’ve had some odd balmy days of late, Old Man Winter has been in full glory recently. Wind, snow and plummeting temperatures had me yearning for a piping hot bowl of comforting homemade soup.  As a boy,  I used to love Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom and this recipe is what I guess you could call, the grown up version of that.  


Mushroom Bisque Soup

1 sweet vidalia onion
1 leek, rinsed and chopped 
6 packages assorted mushrooms
1 Pint Heavy Cream
1 stick butter
1  48 oz. Carton of Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper to taste

This recipe is simple, but a key component is either a stick blender or a regular blender.  The former is much easier and will save work, time and mess. 

~ The Starting Point: I used 2 packages white, 2 pkgs crimini, 2 pkgs portobello & a small tray of oyster ~

Chop the onion and leek into fairly large pieces and zap in a food processor.   In a large soup pot,  sweat the onion and leeks in 1/2 of the butter until they’re very soft.  About 6-8 minutes over medium heat.  If needed, a drizzle of olive oil can be added.  
Coarsely chop the mushrooms and zap in the food processor.  When the onions and leeks have softened, add the mushrooms to the pot and  continue sauteing for another 10 minutes.

~ This is the mixture at this stage. It’s very dry and almost a bit pasty looking ~
Once the mushrooms have cooked down a bit,  add the chicken stock,  adjust the flame to low and allow to simmer slowly for 90 minutes – uncovered.  

~ This is right after adding the chicken stock ~

~ This shot is after 90 minutes of simmering. It’s easy to note the difference between the two pictures. I admit, at this point,  I didn’t think this looked too good!  But don’t worry, it turns out great!

At this point, check seasoning and get the stick blender ready.  This is really the key.  If you don’t have one of these, the only other option is to allow the soup time to cool, transfer it to a normal blender,  puree it, and then return it to the pot.  That sounds like a PITA to me.  The immersion blender was fun and fast.  Pull the pot off the stove and puree the entire thing with the immersion blender.  Then return to the heat. 

~ What a difference a puree makes!  I knew this was going to be good at this point ~

After blending, add the heavy cream and the remaining butter and return the pot to the heat for another 40-60 minutes.  It may thicken on its own, but if not,  use a little cornstarch to help it along.  (I did)  Just remember to return the soup to a full boil after using the cornstarch or it won’t thicken properly.  Before serving, adjust the seasoning if needed.

~ The finished soup garnished with fresh parsley.  You can also drizzle truffle oil, olive oil or diced mushrooms if you like.  Delizioso! ~

This was very simple to make and absolutely delicious.  The recipe above will make about 6 full bowl servings.  We had plenty leftover to freeze.   Enjoy!  

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