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Wednesday Food: Les Halles Mushroom Soup

I thought of posting corned beef today but decided to forgo it for two reasons:

1) the authentic way to prepare corned beef involves at least a ten day brine, which I most certainly did not start on time.

2) I’m still outraged by all the ridiculous kelly-green clad drunks who ruined a perfectly delightful game of pool on Saturday.  Take that.

Instead, I’m featuring a dish that is near to my heart, and a regular on my stove.  It is Anthony Bourdain’s mushroom soup, from the Les Halles Cookbook.  There are really only five necessary ingredients, and while the soup is incredibly easy to make, the flavor is shockingly elegant.

Though the original recipe calls for button mushrooms I sometimes opt for cremini, which have a more earthy flavor akin to portabellos.  Another adaptation to consider is reducing the quantity of butter (1.5 tbs per serving may be common in a restaurant, but is excessive at home) or cut it with olive oil.  Mushrooms are the only non-animal, non-environmental source of Vitamin D, which explains why I crave a bowl of this weekly during winter.  The only unfortunate part of this soup is the color– a dull brownish gray–  be prepared to garnish.

Beer Pairing: I paired a recent batch with Green Flash’s Grand Cru.  I like the way the malt and slightly sweet raisin notes of the beer balanced the savory nutty flavor of the soup.  A natural partner would also be found in Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale.


March 17, 2010 - Posted by | Wednesday Food


  1. Perhaps even I could make this soup!

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | March 18, 2010

  2. Felt compelled to share that a cremini mushroom is a baby portabella, thus the flavor akin thereto. I know, you are so excited that I shared.

    Comment by Di Kotimy | March 18, 2010

  3. I should probably eat more mushrooms! Thanks for that fun fact. Such an easy recipe to convert to vegan, as well. Gonna try it out, but I’ll wait for a colder day. San Diego is currently quite sunny and lovely. Don’t be jealous ;)

    Comment by Sarah | March 20, 2010

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