FFWD – Paris Mushroom Soup

When I was young, my father used to call me an unnatural child because I didn’t like mushrooms. He’d been raised on a mushroom farm and took my distaste for them a little personally. I’ve made my peace with mushrooms over the years, but I still don’t seek them out. (Unless it’s Chicken of the Woods. If you have that, I’m coming to your house right now. Save me some.)

It’s World War II that made me the daughter of the son of a mushroom farmer. My grandfather was a veteran of that war and after he returned to Canada, he became a graphic artist. After a while, the company he worked for wanted to transfer him to the United States. But he had three sons and didn’t want them to be subject to U.S. draft laws. So, he gave up the job and started a mushroom farm instead.

I remember the mushroom barns. They were huge buildings, which we only entered under supervision. The button mushrooms glowed a little in the dim light and the smell of mushroom manure was surprisingly sweet. We would sometimes play hide-and-seek around the outside of the buildings, but mostly we played in the woods on the other side of the property. It’s a residential subdivision now.

So, although I didn’t eat mushrooms for many years, I had a soft spot for them. I’m also developing a soft spot for Paris Mushroom Soup. My mushroom-loving partner enjoyed it, as expected, but I really liked it, too. The soup starts with a reduction of white wine and the juices of the mushrooms. It ends with the addition of a “salad” of raw mushrooms and herbs, and a dollop of crème fraiche to finish it. Though I wouldn’t have made it without the prompting of the French Fridays With Dorie schedule, I’m glad I did.

UPDATE: Here’s what I did with the leftovers: Tuna Rice Casserole

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Paris Mushroom Soup


23 thoughts on “FFWD – Paris Mushroom Soup

  1. It was really good – the raw mushrooms at the end get slightly cooked by the hot soup, adding an nice texture to the soup.

  2. Your grandfather’s mushroom farm sounds lovely, Teresa. I have fond memories of going mushroom hunting with my grandfather in Pennsylvania when we would visit when I was a child. When we go hiking now I always look for mushrooms and take lots of photographs of them, but I would be afraid to try to eat any of them because I unfortunately did not retain any of the knowledge that my grandfather shared with me. That first photo is beautiful with the mushrooms and your soup looks wonderful.

  3. What a terrific story! I can almost envision it from your writing. Love your first photo too. Delightful post. Glad you liked the soup!

  4. My favorite mushrooms are morels. They grow in our yard in the spring, so I don’t have to pay $32/lb to buy them. Though I only get one or so meals a year! I am glad you liked the soup.

  5. I know, I never would have made it were it not for this group either, but I’m SO glad I did. I think the way the juices and wine reduce really concentrated the flavor, it’s awesome.

  6. It is really surprising how so few simple ingredients made such a lovely and complex soup. Now I want to try more of her soup recipes to see what other gems there are.

  7. What a great story about your grandfather’s mushroom farm. And your mushroom photo with green grass makes me long for spring. The ground here is covered with snow. I’m glad you tried it, salad and all.

  8. @t.t. – Thanks! It was a lovely farm. My parents have a hobby farm, which they’re getting ready to sell now. It seems to be a generational pattern in our family.
    @Elaine – Thank you for sharing your story about mushroom-hunting with your grandfather. It sounds like they were wonderful adventures.
    @Candy – Thanks very much!
    @Ronda – You’re so lucky. Morels are amazing (even to someone who is only lukewarm about mushrooms in general).
    @Ker-Yng – Thanks!
    @Betty – It really was wonderful to have access to a farm growing up.
    @Trix – I agree and I think the techniques are applicable to some other ingredients/recipes, too. Love what we’re learning here.
    @Marcella – I agree. The soup chapter is getting a lot of my attention, now that the weather is colder.
    @Betsy – Thanks! I’m really glad I tried it, too. The mushroom photo was taken on my iPhone. I happened upon them as I was walking my dog. It makes me realize how lucky I am to live in Vancouver, where we have such lushness right into October.

  9. I love your mushroom farm story. I agree with you, I may never have cooked this recipe if I were not part of FFWD. I am glad I did though; this is part of the reason I joined.

    I look forward to cooking along with you.

  10. What a delightful treat to read about your family farm and history – I never expected this when I checked in to see your luck with the mushroom soup and it was a pleasure to read. I had not expected to enjoy the soup since I am not a mushroom fan myself, but as usual with this group…I tried a new recipe, enjoyed it, enjoyed the process and it left me inspired to cook more. Althought truthfully, cook more soup as opposed to mushrooms 🙂 Tricia (and Nana 😉

  11. Thanks so much, Tricia. I’m glad you enjoyed my story. Your experience with the group describes mine, too. I also don’t think I’m going to reach for more mushrooms quite yet. 🙂

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