6 cups of chopped baby bellas, regular portabella mushrooms, or button mushrooms
½ cup chopped shallots
1 cup chopped sweet, or Vidalia onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cups of unsalted butter + 2 tablespoons of butter
3 cups of heavy cream
1 cup unbleached flour
1 quart of whole milk
½ cup white wine
3 tablespoons of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
During the winter months I make a different soup every day- mushroom bisque is my favorite. I start off with some baby -bellas (mini portabella mushrooms or regular will do).
First, melt 1/2 cup of butter in a soup pot. Add the celery, carrots (chopped), sweet onions, and shallots, and begin to cook slowly over low heat.
In a separate sauté pan place an additional 1/4 of butter, melt, then add the sliced mushrooms to the pan with a small amount of salt and pepper.
Here’s what will happen… Initially the mushrooms will get some color.
Next, they will begin to water. You MUST continue sautéing the mushrooms until the water has evaporated, and the pan becomes dry. Only at this point will the mushrooms continue to caramelize, and attain the golden brown color that is necessary for true depth-of-flavor. When the mushrooms are done cooking set them aside.
Increase the heat to medium-high, then continue to sauté the onions, shallots, carrots, and celery. After approximately five minutes, add 1 cup of flour to the mixture. Stir this mixture constantly for another five minutes on low heat.
Deglaze the soup pot containing the vegetable mixture with 3 cups of heavy cream, stirring constantly. Add a quart of whole milk, and continue to stir.
Turn the heat back on under the mushrooms. Once they are sizzling, deglaze the sauté pan with 1/2 cup of white wine. Add the mushrooms, and any excess liquid to the soup pot containing the vegetable-flour, milk, and cream. Continue to stir over medium heat until the mixture becomes thick. Grab your immersion blender (hand mixer) and begin to puree this mixture. As you blend, add two tablespoons of butter; this will add sheen, and a soft, creamy after-taste.
As your soup continues to cook, you can adjust the consistency with additional milk.
Finish your soup with fresh chopped thyme, salt and pepper.
Chef Chuck Kerber