Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Mushroom Soup

published Nov 5, 2021
Paris Mushroom Soup Recipe

Seasoned, raw mushrooms give this Parisian soup a delightful textural contrast.

Serves6

Prep30 minutes to 35 minutes

Cook40 minutes to 45 minutes

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2 bowls of mushroom soup on table with rust-colored fabric runner. Both soups have been garnished with crème fraîche, herbs, mushroom slices. Gold spoon
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

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This smooth soup is a true Parisian creation: It’s made with champignons de Paris, or what we know as plain white or button mushrooms, and it’s inspired by a soup I had in the Paris bistro, Les Papilles (whose name means taste buds). At the little restaurant, the soup comes to the table in a big tureen, and you’re encouraged to dip the ladle into it as often as you like. I love that way of serving — it’s so welcoming and so generous.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

When we had the soup at Les Papilles, our shallow soup plates were brought to the table sans soup, but with a small mushroom “salad”: thin slices of raw mushrooms seasoned with salt, pepper, chopped chives, and parsley and topped with a tiny bit of crème fraîche. When the hot soup was poured over the salad, the mushrooms cooked just slightly. You can easily adopt the practice at home, or you can be a little more casual about it and just float the seasoned mushroom slices on top of the soup. Either way, you’ll get to enjoy that nice contrast between the cooked soup and the raw vegetable.

Just so you know, the name champignons de Paris is more honorific than correct these days. While the mushrooms did get their start near Paris — Louis XIV had them in the garden at Versailles — and while they were found growing in the catacombs beneath Paris when construction for the metro began, today the mushrooms are more likely to come from the Loire Valley.

Paris Mushroom Soup Recipe

Seasoned, raw mushrooms give this Parisian soup a delightful textural contrast.

Prep time 30 minutes to 35 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 1 1/2

    large white or Spanish onions

  • 3

    large cloves garlic

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    white button mushrooms

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground white pepper plus more as needed

  • 1/3 cup

    dry white wine

  • 2 sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • 1 sprig

    fresh rosemary

  • 6 cups

    salted chicken broth or water

  • 2

    large or 4 regular-sized chicken bouillon cubes, if you’re using water (optional)

For the salad:

  • 6

    medium white button mushrooms

  • 2

    medium scallions (optional)

  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh parsley

  • 1/4 bunch

    fresh chives

  • Crème fraîche, for serving (optional)

Instructions

Make the soup:

  1. Dice 1 1/2 large white or Spanish onions (about 2 1/2 cups). Remove the germ in the middle from 3 large garlic cloves, then coarsely chop the cloves. Trim and cut 1 1/2 pounds white mushrooms into 1/4-inch thick slices.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, increase the heat to medium, and cook, continuing to stir, until the mushrooms release their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook until almost all of the liquid evaporates, 6 to 8 minutes more.

  3. Add 1/3 cup dry white wine wine and let it boil until it, too, almost evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add 2 fresh parsley sprigs, 1 fresh rosemary sprig, and 6 cups chicken broth or water (with the bouillon cubes, if you’re using them), and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot almost completely, and cook at a gentle simmer for 20 minutes.

  4. Remove the pot from the heat. If you can, remove and discard the rosemary sprig (it will have lost its leaves). Blend the soup directly in the pot with an immersion blender until very smooth. Alternatively, blend in small batches in a stand blender or food processor. If you’re using a processor or an immersion blender, you probably won’t get a super-smooth soup. If you’d like, you can strain the puréed soup through a fine-mesh strainer, but it’s really not necessary.

  5. Taste and season with more kosher salt and white pepper as needed. Return the soup to the pot and heat it gently—it shouldn’t boil, it should be very hot.

Make the salad:

  1. Trim and very thinly slice 6 medium white mushrooms. Thinly slice the white and light green parts of 2 medium scallions if desired. Pick the leaves from 3 to 4 fresh parsley sprigs and mince until you have about 1 tablespoon. Thinly slice 1/4 bunch fresh chives until you have about 1 tablespoon.

  2. Divide the mushrooms, scallions, parsley, and chives among 6 soup plates; season lightly with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into the bowls over the salad, and top each with a dollop of crème fraiche, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The soup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. The salad can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days.

Excerpted from Around My French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours © 2010 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2010 by Alan Richardson. Reproduced by permission of Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.