Champignons de Paris (lit. Paris mushrooms as we call it in France) makes a healthy, smooth soup ideal for a light dinner. This button mushroom soup is also very easy to make, the proof French cuisine can be affordable.
This is a soup I cook very often, actually not only on winter cold days but as soon as we get mushrooms in early September. And then each time I find nice firm button mushrooms at my local farmers market.
Button Mushroom, Champignons de Paris in French
In French, button mushrooms are called champignons de Paris, literally Paris mushrooms. They are either white or brown. The brown ones tend to be more firm with a denser texture.
Initially cultivated in Paris undergrounds, there are few producers nowadays in the Paris area, and we have to be careful when buying mushrooms in France as many come from Poland. The French champignons de Paris now mainly come from the Loire valley.
I recently read that they appeared in Versailles in the times of King Louis XIV and that they widely developed during the Napoleonic era (beginning of 19th century) in Parisian catacombs and quarries. They were much appreciated then.
A creamy soup
Button mushroom soup is very soft and creamy. No need to add potatoes or any other thickener. The directions are very simple; you’ll see this soup is quick to prepare.
- First, heat butter (or oil if you prefer or half butter half oil) in a pan. Mince garlic and onion or shallot. Sear for a few minutes.
- Then add mushrooms that you will have previously prepared :
- Cut off the bottom of the foot.
- Brush to remove any sand or ground (eventually, lightly rinse under tap water and dry them immediately in cloth, never soak them in water). Sauté mushrooms for again a few minutes.
- Then add hot broth or boiling water, cook for about 20 minutes and mix with a stand mixer. If you like a very smooth soup, mix at high speed with a stand mixer or use a blender. You’ll see on those photos that I just gave a quick mix to keep some chunks. It’s up to you.
Which topping for the soup
As a French, the first thing that comes to my mind is… cream. I like to mix the soup with a bit of cream or milk.
Then pour more cream when serving. As on the photos, then just seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper.
You can of course make a dairy-free mushroom soup by removing the cream and choosing a good quality vegetable broth.
Croutons are great too. Cut slices or cubes of baguette or country-style bread and either pan fry them with butter or toast them or placed them in the oven under the grill.
Many others And also bacon or ham strips, walnut spreads, grated parmesan or goat cheese… Possibilities are endless.
Smoked duck filets and roasted pine nuts topping
When I first posted this recipe on the blog that I’m updating right now, I topped it with smoked duck fillet ships and roasted pine nuts (this photo was one of my first attempts at food photography!)
20 slices smoked duck filets,
30 gr pine nuts = 2 tablespoons,
1 tablespoon olive oil
While the mushrooms are cooking, preheat the oven to 250°C (480°F). Remove the fat from the slices of smoked duck filets. Place them on the frying pan of your oven covered with greaseproof paper.
Bake in the oven at 250°C (480°F) for 4 to 5 minutes. They will become crispy without burning. Note that if you don’t want the slices to curl, place them between two pans. I don’t mind if it curves as it will help to give a structure while arranging the dish.
Place a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the high heat of your stove. When the pan is hot, add the pine seeds and keep stirring to avoid burning. After a few minutes, remove them.
Place both slices of duck and pine seeds on a plate covered with paper towels so that it will absorb the remaining oil.
Button Mushroom Soup
- stand mixer or blender
- 700 gr mushrooms champignons de Paris type button mushrooms 25 oz / 1.6 pound
- 2 big shallot or onion
- 1 liter water or broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 knob butter
- 2 pinches salt
- 125 ml heavy cream
Prepare and cook the soup
- Prepare the vegetables. Remove the skin of shallots and dice it finely.
- Wash the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms under the tap to wash them softly. Don’t soak them in a large quantity of water otherwise the mushrooms will absorb the water. Remove the skin only if needed (if it’s too thick) and cut the mushrooms in equal parts.
- In a frying pan, pour a tablespoon of olive oil and the butter. Add the diced shallot, season with salt and pepper, and fry for about 5 minutes.
- When the shallot starts to become translucent, add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Stir. Cook for 5 minutes at medium heat. Add water, cover and cook gently for about 20 minutes.
Mix and dress
- Depending on if liquid has reduced a lot or not, eventually remove a bit of cooking water but don't throw awayyet before mixing
- Mix the soup in a blender or with a stand mixer with half of the cream until smooth. Taste and season, eventually add more cream or wooking water.
- Offer the remaining cream as a topping when serving.