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Cream Of Shiitake Mushroom Soup
1 qt Milk; whole, low-fat or skim
1 sm Onion; peeled and stuck with
6 Whole peppercorns (or more)
1 pn Salt
Tie in cheesecloth,
6 Fresh parsley stems,
1/2 ts Dried leaf thyme
1/2 Bay leaf
4 tb Rice flour (or barley or oat flour)
4 tb Cold milk (about)
8 oz Shiitake mushrooms
6 tb Heavy cream
2 tb Madeira
Reserved mushroom slices
PLACE THE MILK, ONION, peppercorns, salt and bouquet garni in a
saucepan and bring slowly to a boil. Form a smooth paste of the rice
flour and the cold milk. Put into the just-boiling milk and stir
briskly until there are no lumps. Simmer over very low heat for 20
minutes. Meanwhile, cut off the tough ends of the mushroom stems.
Reserve a few mushroom slices for garnish and chop the remaining
mushrooms coarsely, then place in a food processor with a steel blade
and chop as finely as possible. Strain the milk mixture through a
fine sieve back into the saucepan; add the chopped mushrooms and
continue simmering 5 minutes. Add the cream and Madeira, if you wish,
and serve in hot bowls, garnished with a slice of mushroom.
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