Sitting down to a luxurious bowl of soup is a bit like wrapping yourself in a cozy, soft cashmere sweater – a rich little jewel soup to celebrate and relax into the New Year. Balthazar Creamy Mushroom Soup – a true New York Little Jewel.
New York City, a city so brightly beautiful, with warm, convivial eateries to invite you in at almost every corner, that’s how I remember my work days in the city. Balthazar, a stellar restaurant and bakery, embraces the French bistro, what’s not to love? Their cookbook, The Balthazar Cookbook, shares the tastes from the New York City classic eatery.
On the menu a rich and woodsy mushroom soup, warming up from a winter chill never tasted so good. Abundance, plus a variety of mushrooms, is really the key to this soup – dried wild mushrooms (along with their broth) and two full pounds of fresh mushrooms (shitake & button) combine to create a soup deeply layered with mushroom, then made silky smooth with a touch of butter and a slip of cream. It may be tempting to substitute – however, I feel what makes this soup so delicious is the calculated measure of the ingredients that create a unique and rich bowl of mushroom soup.
First up is a mix of dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water to reconstitute, creating a rich broth that, along with mushrooms, is added to the soup. Dried wild mushrooms are rich little gems, often located in the produce section of most large markets. A healthy measure of fresh mushroom, delicate herbs, plus a mixture of beef and chicken stock creates a richly layered soup base. I puree the soup using my Vitamix or blender to ensure the dried mushrooms are made smooth.
This is how I love serving this soup, topped with large, rustic croutons and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Wishing you warm and wonderful New Year from the Bijouxs Little Jewel Kitchen.
As always, enjoy. B