In the heart of wine country, where winter wraps the landscape in a cool, calming embrace, there's a certain magic that unfolds when you combine a crackling fireplace, the comforting aroma of Julia Child’s Portage Velouté Aux Champignons (Cream of Mushroom Soup), and a bottle of Pinot Noir from one of our favorite neighborhood wineries, Dobbes.
If you’ve ever delved into the culinary world of Julia Child, you're well aware that her recipes often demand every pot, pan, and utensil in your kitchen. In my effort to streamline the cleanup process without compromising on flavor, I've consolidated a few of her steps to minimize the need for a plethora of cookware (even though I'm quite certain the concept of a one-pot meal would have been met with horror by the legendary Ms. Child).
Without further ado, here is my adaptation of Portage Velouté Aux Champignons:
Portage Velouté Aux Champignons (Cream of Mushroom Soup)
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child
1 medium white or yellow onion, minced
2 cloves of minced garlic
8 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups broth
3 cups pinot noir
1 pound of fresh mushrooms (a mix of cremini and wild mushrooms)
5 tablespoons of butter
2 parsley springs,
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1lb fresh mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
In a cast iron pot or large stock pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter, then add minced onion and sauté until tender, but not browned.
Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of flour, continuously stirring without browning the flour.
Add 3 cups of broth and 3 cups of pinot noir, along with fresh or dried parsley sprigs, a bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Return the pot to heat and bring to a boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter and heat until bubbly, being careful not to brown the butter. Once the butter is bubbly, add 1 pound of mushrooms with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Cook on low-medium heat for 5 minutes, covered.
After the liquid mixture has simmered for 20 minutes, add the sautéed mushrooms with the butter and lemon juice from the pan. Cook on simmer for ten minutes.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and cream. Then beat in the hot soup by spoonfuls until a cup has been added. Gradually stir in the rest over moderate heat to cook the yolks, but do not let the soup come near a simmer.
Remove from the heat and stir in 1-3 tablespoons of softened butter. Decorate with additional mushrooms and herbs, then serve.
The winter night becomes the epitome of coziness: dogs lounging peacefully in front of the fire, the heat of the soup, and the perfect Pinot. Cheers to the simple pleasures that warm the soul!