My husband Lulu craved a hot soup, so I prepared this king mushroom soup. It's very soothing and comforting on a rainy day, which seems to be every day we’ve been in Paris. The broth traditionally consists of beef consommé made with beef bone marrow bones. You could use any clear, thin broth, of course (I used vegetable stock for my husband Lulu, who's a vegetarian).
King mushrooms are perfect for this dish. Their texture varies depending on the manner in which you prepare them. I tore the mushrooms into long strips instead of cutting them, to impart a very meaty feel. The mushrooms and hot consommé make a wonderful first course in cold weather.
Servings: 8 servings
4 King oyster mushrooms
juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 quart beef consommé (or vegetable broth)
2 teaspoons salt, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
½ teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly ground
Prepping the broth:
In small pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil and the onions and cook until caramelized. Transfer the onions a plate, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.
In a 5-quart stockpot, bring 1¼ quarts of water and the beef consommé to a boil. Add the onions and lemon juice. Cook for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve. Discard the solids. Pour the broth back into the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add salt. Taste again. Add sugar (if necessary, depending on the sweetness of the onions). The secret is to balance the sweetness and the saltiness. Be sure not to over-salt! Cook for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Cut the mushrooms in half, crosswise, then using the tip of a paring knife, separate and tear the mushrooms into long strips, lengthwise.
In a small pan, heat the rest of the oil and add the minced garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the cayenne powder and the King oyster mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Bring the broth from the main pot back to a boil, then add the mushrooms. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
The broth should be fragrant and properly seasoned.
The addition of fried onions to the broth gives natural sweetness to the soup.
You could replace the King mushrooms with your favorite mushrooms.
I paired the soup with cheese puff pastry twists.