This classic German cream of mushroom soup (Champignon Creme Suppe) recipe is easy to prepare but tastes like you slaved all day. The French influence on German cuisine can be seen in the name of this dish -- champignons is the French word for "mushrooms."
Cream of mushroom soup is a great first course for a fancy dinner party because it's not time-dependent -- it can simmer away happily on the stove without fear of overcooking while you enjoy cocktails and appetizers.
In recipes such a these -- few ingredients, simple steps -- the quality of the ingredients will make a big difference in the final product, so don't skimp.
Wild mushrooms abound in Germany's lush forests. If you decide to do a little foraging of your own, keep these mushrooms tips and warnings in mind.
- 12 large mushrooms about 12 ounces/300 grams, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 - 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used brown-rice flour to make the soup gluten-free)
- 2 1/2 cups good-quality simmering beef broth
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons good-quality dry sherry
- 1/3 cup crème fraîche
- Dash pepper
- Dash salt
Peel and slice onions as thinly as practical.
In a medium saucepan, sauté onion in 3 tablespoons unsalted butter until translucent. Add 12 ounces/300 grams thinly sliced mushrooms. Sauté 5 minutes. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or brown rice flour over all, cook 1 minute, stirring. Use more flour for a thicker soup. All-purpose flour can be used if you are not allergic to it.
Add 2 1/2 cups hot beef broth (preferably homemade but good-quality canned broth will do), bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Add 3 tablespoons heavy cream and reduce heat to lowest setting.
Mix 2 large egg yolks with 2 tablespoons good-quality dry sherry and 1/3 cup crème fraîche. Temper egg yolk mixture with a few ladles of hot soup, whisking constantly. Then transfer the tempered egg-yolk mixture back into the soup. Heat through, whisking constantly, but do not boil. Pepper generously and salt to taste.
This is commonly served with a French baguette.
Note: Mushrooms are very porous, so you want to introduce as little water as possible when cleaning them. Follow these mushroom-cleaning tips.