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Mushroom Soup


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There's a soup competition coming up at school, and I'd thought I'd enter it. I have a basic idea, but I thought maybe someone with more experience could add something that I've forgotten, or never would've thought of in the first place.

Anyways, I'm making a beef & porcini soup (stocks are homemade, mushroom stock is out of the French Laundry cookbook):




red wine

beef stock

mushroom stock

stewing beef (unsure of the cut)

fresh thyme & parsley

Usual steps:

Soak the dried porcini in mushroom stock, strain liquid with cheesecloth.

Brown the beef on all sides, remove & set aside. Add shallot & garlic, saute till lightly browned. Add mushrooms, brown slightly. Deglaze with wine. Add julienned reserved beef. Add stocks and herbs, reduce till it tastes good.

So that's my basic idea. Am I leaving anything out? Anything you'd add? I'd really like to win this, and any help you guys & gals can lend will be very much appreciated.

Thanks! :biggrin:

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In making the stock, I would use a lot more herbs than parsley and thyme (maybe fresh sage, savory, rosemary, and fennel). It will heighten the flavor of the stock. Also the use of tamari (a dark soy sauce -- a splash or two) will also add more complexity to your stock.

For service, I would check the flavors and add either a splash of cognac or dark sherry for depth.

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i just read a viennese boiled beef recipe this weekend in savuer (either currentt or last isse) they used a bottom round with fat cap attached or second cut brisket...if you can get your hands on the mag the picture even smels good

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not sure i follow. Using a "stewing" beef with a quick sear and no stew or braise ain't gonna work. Boneless short ribs, chuck, clod, etc... will require a certain-and longish-cook time.

In my mind you've got a couple of different things going on that, if done correctly, would be great. If not, then not. either use a quick cooking peice of beef-like shaved tender a la viet pho-and add at the last minute, or go whole hog and braise the cut like it should be(which would net a larger profit as an entree). Remember though, soup is not a garbage pail but where items that may be not be suitable for a certain dish can be utilized. I'd imagine that the chefs are looking for such utilization of product as you would find in the real world environment, as well as a great tasting soup :)- especially if you're costing this for the competition. If you can use product to abandon though then go that route.

hth, danny

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not sure i follow. Using a "stewing" beef with a quick sear and no stew or braise ain't gonna work. Boneless short ribs, chuck, clod, etc... will require a certain-and longish-cook time.


I wasn't very clear in regards to that in my recipe. I do intend to braise the beef in the soup.

Edited by fryguy (log)
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gotcha. Remember you're braising liquid will most likely be cloudy. I haven't looked up the recipe myself, but you may want to use another beef stock for your soup base or-even better for the judges :)-clarify your stock using raw trimmings from your braised item al a consomme if you have the time. This will give you a nice background to highlight your porcini-be really good if you could get your hands on fresh or the flash frozen. Dried porcinis may also cloud your stock a little.

good luck and have fun, danny

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Not sure this is gonna turn out too good - I think you might end up with a muddied confused mix of mushroom and beef flavours, punctuated with beef which is either chewy or falling to bits.

I think the Pho style suggestion is a better one - not only in the style of adding the meat, but maybe also the use of aromatics to cut the mustyness you can occaionally get with beef stocks.

I'd stick to a straight mushroom soup - especially heading into autumn.

And don't forget, a splash of madeira can work wonders!

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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First off, thanks for all your help. I dunno if it's a contest winner, but I think I've got a good shot at it. With Carlovski's prompting, I changed the soup to a pure mushroom soup, and the flavor of the porcini is really prominent. Here's the recipe as I'm turning it in to the judges:

2 tsp butter

1 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½ C mushroom stock

½ C red wine

1 C beef or veal stock

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

½ oz dried porcini

2 stalks fresh thyme

2 stalks fresh parsley

salt & black pepper

Reconstitute ¾ of the dried porcini in 1 cup of the mushroom stock. Grind the remaining dried porcini in a spice grinder. Strain resulting liquid through cheesecloth & reserve. Roughly chop porcini & reserve.

Saute reconstituted porcini, garlic & shallot until the shallot is translucent. Deglaze with half of the wine. Reduce until the vegetables start to glaze the pan again, deglaze with remaining wine. Add reserved mushroom soaking liquid, porcini powder, beef stock, vinegar and herbs. Simmer until reduced to 2 cups. Remove herbs, serve.

Like I said, the mushroom flavor really stands out, with everything else in a supporting role.

Thanks again for all your help! The judging is on Thursday, so I'll probably get the results on Monday when I go to class. Thanks again everyone.

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