Puréed Mushroom Soup

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Thick and creamy, with no cream, this tastes so much richer than it is. I use a small amount of milk to thin out the soup, but you can also use stock to thin it, if you don’t want to include any dairy.


MAKES: 6 to 8 Servings
PREP/COOK TIME: 1 hour 50 minutes

  • ½ ounce dried porcinis
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, white and light green part only, cut in half lengthwise, cleaned thoroughly and sliced or chopped
  •  Salt to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (to taste, optional)
  • 1 ½ pounds mushrooms (white or cremini) sliced or coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup medium grain rice
  •  About 4 1/2 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock, or as needed
  •  A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley and an optional Parmesan rind
  •  Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (more to taste)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dry sherry, to taste (optional)
  • ½ cup milk or additional stock
  •  Chopped fresh parsley or torn leaves for garnish


  1. Place the dried porcinis in a bowl or pyrex measuring cup and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Drain the porcinis through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Squeeze the mushrooms over the strainer to extract as much flavorful liquid as possible. Rinse in several changes of water and set aside. Measure the mushroom soaking water and add water or stock to make 6 cups.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and add the onion and leek and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender and, about 5 to 8 minutes. Do not brown. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic smells fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the fresh and reconstituted mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they begin to sweat and smell fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, stock, bouquet garni, soy sauce and salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and the parmesan rind if using.
  4. In batches, blend the soup until smooth. Fill the blender less than half way and cover the top with a towel pulled down tight, rather than airtight with the lid, because hot soup will jump and push the top off if the blender is closed airtight. Return to the pot, taste and adjust salt, and add pepper and the sherry, if using. Add the milk or another half cup of stock and heat through, stirring. If the soup still seems too thick, thin out a little more but remember to taste and adjust seasoning. Serve in espresso cups or in bowls, garnishing each serving with chopped or torn flat-leaf parsley.

Storage You can make this a day or two ahead and reheat (you may want to thin it out a little more). The soup can be frozen, but you will need to blend it again when you thaw it.

Adapted from one of Martha Rose Shulman's amazing recipes


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