Monday, September 17, 2012


Pureed Mushroom and Lentil Soup
This is one of my favorite mushroom soup recipes that I've been making since 1995.  This recipe was adapted from chef Annie Roberts who was the executive chef of Robert Mondavi Winery at the time.  It is a rich, hearty pureed soup that is made with a combination of mushrooms and lentils.  It is then topped with sliced green onions, a drizzle of white truffle oil, and a dollop of sour cream. 

Although the original recipe called for chicken stock, I always used home-made vegetable broth until I started making the soup with my own mushroom stock.

I always keep dried porcini mushrooms in my pantry, and yesterday found some left-over shiitake stems in the freezer.  I also used the stems from the cremini mushrooms, which are the main ingredient in the soup.  The combination of porcini, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms produced an intensely flavored mushroom stock.


1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 pound mushroom stems (cremini and shiitake)
1 small carrot, chopped
5 parsley sprigs, cut in thirds
3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 oregano sprigs
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 bay leaves
8 cups water

Boil 1 cup of water.  Add dried porcini mushrooms and let sit for about 20-30 minutes to reconstitute.  After mushrooms are reconstituted, drain mushrooms while reserving the liquid.  Rinse mushrooms to remove any grit.  Strain the mushroom liquid through cheesecloth or a coffee filter.

Vegetables and Porcini Mushrooms
Pour the strained mushroom liquid into a stockpot.  Add the onion, leek, garlic, porcini mushrooms, and salt.  Stir vegetables, cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and add 8 cups water. Bring the stock to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Let stock cool, then strain, pressing as much liquid as you can from the vegetables. Discard vegetables.  Makes 6-7cups

All Stock Ingredients

Sliced Mushrooms
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 pound crimini mushrooms
Kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon
6 cups mushroom stock
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over

For Garnish:
1 green onion, sliced
1 Tablespoon white truffle oil
1 Tablespoon sour cream

In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add garlic and shallots and stir to mix.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to soften and turn golden, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the mushrooms and salt, increase the heat to medium and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Mushrooms Softening
Add stock and lentils, stir to mix, and bring to a boil.  Decrease heat to medium and cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside until cool enough to handle.

In a blender, process the mixture until well pureed.

To serve, reheat soup and ladle into bowls.  Garnish each serving with green onions, a swirl of truffle oil and dollop of sour cream.  This soup is so rich by itself, with or without the garnishes.  Serves 4.

Pureed Mushroom and Lentil Soup


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