As I indicated in Recipe Review: Roasted Mushroom Soup with Apple Cider Stock Part I, this is a soup I’ve been wanting to make for years and haven’t taken the time to tackle. The class I taught at The Kitchen Shop and Cooking School on Friday evening was entitled Apple Harvest and included apples in each recipe. What better time to work with this recipe?
In Part I of my post, I explained how I made the cider stock….now for the soup. In comparison with the making of the stock, the soup is a breeze!
First the mushrooms….for some quick peeks at my recent experience at the mushroom festival in Kennett Square, PA, click here and here…..the recipe called for yellow morel mushroom, oyster mushrooms, and button mushrooms. Since I wasn’t able to locate morels in my area, I substituted Portobello each time I made the soup.
I cleaned the mushrooms with a mushroom brush and a damp paper towel and then, although the recipe instructed me to saute the mushrooms whole, never one to follow directions I sliced the mushrooms and sautéed them in butter, stirring occasionally. “Why?” you ask. I thought the mushrooms would give up their liquids more quickly and would brown better if they were sliced rather than whole…..my thinking may be flawed (or not), but the outcome was some beautifully browned mushrooms!
After the mushrooms were browned and no liquid remained in the pan, I added some Madeira wine, fresh oregano, and salt/pepper.
In the last year I’ve learned a little something about Madeira wine. I’m no expert, but I the following information fascinating and thought you might too. Madeira (REAL Madeira) is made in Portugal – in the Madeira Islands – and is a wine fortified with brandy. (Not too bad so far, right?) There is a wide spectrum – from dry to sweet – of this very robust wine. The wine undergoes a unique wine making process and a unique aging process. During wine making, the wine is heated for an extended period of time and is exposed to a specific level of oxidation. During the aging process, the wine is stored in sauna-like conditions. These processes are meant to mimic the intense heat and constant movement of the ships on which Madeira was originally transported – these two factors had a transforming effect on the wine.
In my quest to learn about Madeira and try different brands, I have found that you can buy “knock-off” Madeiras from California – they are quite inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. When I spent $10 more per bottle on Leacock’s Rainwater Madeira, I got a change in flavor that was immeasurable! I’m not sure for cooking I would spend much more per bottle, but for drinking I certainly might!
Anyway, back to the soup…while the mushrooms and Madeira mingled in the skillet, I heated the cider stock in a separate stock pot. The mushrooms continued to cook until the Madeira evaporated. Then I added all but 1/2 cup of the mushrooms into the heated stock and simmered it for 15 minutes.
Finally, I used my immersion blender to puree the soup until it was smooth (if you like a little texture in your soup, feel free to leave it chunky). I added a whisper of heavy cream, simmered the soup for an additional minute and tasted it for seasoning adjustments.
Then, the moment of truth….taste testing. The roasted mushroom soup with apple cider stock was magnificent. It was smooth,, creamy (but not overly so), warm, and flavorful. It had a hint of sweetness from the stock which balanced nicely with the mushrooms. I will say the second time I made it the apple cider I purchased was sweeter than the first time and I liked the soup better with a less-sweet cider.
This past Friday evening I made this soup for the students in my Apple Harvest class and they LOVED it too!
I’d give this soup 5 M’s out of 5!
Even though it is very time-intensive, it is worth the work. I would definitely recommend you giving this soup a try….perhaps for a holiday or other special occasion. You will not be sorry!