This soup is based on sauteed mushrooms and chicken stock — no cream. Chef Bernard Loiseau enriches the flavor with garlic puree, but keeps his soup as simple as possible to maximize the mushroom flavor. The cepes, or porcinis, are available fresh in season, and dried year-round. If you are using dried cepes, reconstitute them in a mixture of water and white wine, then squeeze out as much of the water as possible before beginning the recipe.
- Cepes Soup
- Cepes (porcini mushrooms) - 1 pound, large, cleaned
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon, finely ground
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Chicken Stock (see Cooking Basics) - 3 cups
- Garlic Puree - 1/2 cup
- Milk - 3/4 cup
- Sea salt to taste
- Fried Mushrooms
- Cepe (porcini mushroom) - 1 large, cleaned
- Clarified Butter - 1/2 cup
To prepare the soup: Cut the mushrooms into long slices about 1/4-inch thick. Melt the butter in a saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and brown the mushrooms in a single layer on both sides until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and stir to bring up the browned bits from the bottom. Season with finely ground salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Put the mixture in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Add the garlic puree and blend for 1-1/2 minutes to 2 minutes. Strain into a bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the milk until smooth.
To fry the mushrooms: Cut the mushroom into thin long slices, then cut the slices in half lengthwise. Heat the butter in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When a mushroom piece added to the pan sizzles immediately, add the mushroom slices and fry until golden brown and crisped, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Adjust the seasoning of the soup with sea salt and pepper. Beat the soup again with a stick blender or whisk. Pour into heated serving bowls. Divide the fried mushrooms among the bowls and place in the center of the soup.