Did you know that September is National Mushroom Month? I didn’t. It seems as if every day of every month is a different National Food Holiday. I figured with the slight chill of Fall in the air… what is a better way to welcome it than a delicious soup?
There is this fabulous little carryout place here called Sea Star Cafe. The owners are there, everyday, churning out wonderful sandwiches and homemade soups. They are very small, but take a ton of pride in what they offer. Most items are cold sandwiches. There’s usually one “special” that is a hot sandwich, their Cuban is to die for! And, there is usually 2 or 3 soups that rotate on a daily basis. One of my favorite soups is mushroom-brie bisque. I’m not a huge fan of mushroom (love the flavor, hate the texture), so I stayed away from it for years. One day my girlfriend had gotten it with her lunch, and I stole a bite. I was hooked!
I was also pregnant at the time, so as luck would have it, I developed a craving for this soup. Sea Star closes for a few months in the off-season, and I had to come up with a version I could make at home. I’ve played around with a couple of batches since last fall and think I’ve finally got it!
This soup is rich, silky, and delicious. It’s also a breeze to make. I made it for a lunch date with a girlfriend. Even with an infant and a toddler to look after, I didn’t break a sweat getting everything ready. So easy! I think the wedge of brie, as opposed to the small wheel, is better for this application. It seemed to melt down better. Next time around I might try a Camembert cheese, switch things up a bit! I hope everyone is as ready for Fall as I am. Enjoy!
Mushroom Brie Bisque
2 shallots, minced
6 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and chopped
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups heavy cream (or half and half)
8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed and cubed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water to mix with cornstarch
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots, and sauté until most of the water has cooked out of the mushrooms, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the heavy cream, as well as the chunks of brie cheese.
Simmer the soup, whisking until the cheese melts down. Make a “slurry” with the cornstarch and water, and whisk into the soup to thicken. Bring to a soft rolling boil and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.