Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil & Sherry

Delicious and dairy-free, this magnificent low-fat Mushroom Soup recipe from bad-boy chef Anthony Bourdain, is without question the most elegant, deeply flavoured and intensely mushroomy soup I've ever tasted. Being an enthusiastic fan of the fleshy funghi, I've tried many versions in my time, but the rich hearty flavour of Bourdain's Mushroom Soup spiked with sherry and truffle oil makes it my absolute favourite. My dear friend Dorothea introduced me to this recipe, and for that I'm eternally grateful. She also let me borrow her Bourdain 'Les Halles' cookbook, so now I can make it anytime I want. Mon Dieu!

Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook

Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy Anthony Bourdain, Les Halles Cookbook

6 tbsp butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
12 oz button mushrooms
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, optional*
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 sprig of flat parsley
Salt and pepper
2 oz quality sherry or Madeira

Optional Garnish:
4 tsp heavy cream
Few drops of truffle oil

In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, then add the mushrooms and the remaining butter. Let the mixture sweat for about 8 minutes, taking care that the onion doesn't take on any brown color. Stir in the chicken stock and the parsley and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour.

After an hour, remove the parsley and discard. Let the soup cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a blender and carefully purée at high speed until smooth. When the soup has emulsified, return the mixture to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and bring up to a simmer again. Stir in the sherry and serve immediately with a few drops of truffle oil and drizzle of cream over the surface as a final garnish.

*COOK'S NOTE: You can add dried porcini mushrooms to enhance the flavour of the soup, by placing the porcini in a small dish, add boiling water just to cover, and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes. Strain the soaking liquid to remove any grit, and add it to the stock. Chop up the porcini and add it to the button mushrooms and continue with the recipe.

Parmesan Shortbread
Makes 10-12
Recipe courtesy Jason Bangerter, Executive Chef Langdon Hall
4 oz all-purpose flour
3 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, form all of the ingredients into a dough. Roll the dough into a sausage shape, then cut into round 'cookies' and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until golden brown and serve with the Mushroom Soup.