Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ruth Reichl's Cream of Mushroom Soup

     I had every intention of posting a wonderful dessert recipe today but thanks to a stiff North breeze with gusts to 40 MPH I ended incinerating the cake I was baking in my dutch oven.  I should have known better, coals burn much hotter and faster in a cold wind, you've got to shield your dutch oven or adjust your temperature accordingly.  I'll save that recipe for a calmer day, however I was not to be defeated, I re-lit a new batch of briquettes and made this amazing Cream of Mushroom Soup from Ruth Reichl's book, Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table.  Ruth is just about my favorite food writer, she has a lifetime of experience as a cook, restaurant reviewer and editor.  If you have a chance to read any of her books you won't be disappointed, she's an incredibly gifted author.  When she was going through a difficult time in her life she made this soup every day, I can see why, it's comforting beyond belief and very easy to make in your dutch oven.  I placed my 10 inch oven over a mound of freshly lit coals then as the mushrooms and onions were sauteing I covered the pot with about 10 briquettes on the lid.  Once you add the cream bring it to a simmer and gently cook it for 10 minutes.  If you're going to try this recipe, don't skimp on the ingredients, you need the butter, flour and half and half to give it it's full bodied richness.  Undoubtedly the best Cream of Mushroom Soup I have ever tasted, try not to wolf it down too quickly, it's so creamy and good you should slowly savor every spoonful.

Ruth Reichl's Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
4 Tblsp flour
1 cup beef broth
2 cups half and half
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 bay leaf

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven.
     Melt butter in dutch oven over a full spread of freshly lit coals.
     When foam subsides, add the onion and mushrooms. 
     Saute until onions and mushrooms are golden brown.
     Stir in the flour and then slowly add the broth, stirring constantly.
     Add half and half, salt, pepper, nutmeg and bay leaf.
     Cover with a handful of coals on the lid.
     Bring to a bubble and simmer for 10 minutes.
     Remove bay leaf and serve.  Makes 4 servings.

Saute mushrooms and onions in butter until golden brown

Stir in flour

Add beef broth and seasonings, stir until well combined

Whisk in half and half

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes

Truly sublime


  1. I made this tonight as a base for a beef stroganoff recipe and the soup itself was amazing! It went really well with the beef stroganoff recipe too. I will definitely make this again just to enjoy it as a soup. Thanks!

  2. So glad you liked it, using it as a base for Beef Stroganoff is a GREAT idea, will have to try that. Thanks for sharing! Liddy