Mushroom Soup With Sherry Wine
Who can say no to the ultimate comfort that a bowl of hot mushroom soup magically provides. On rainy days, like the ones we’ve been seeing too much of lately in California, this recipe is a delicious cure for cold and sorrow. This mushroom soup is made with a splash of sherry wine because that gives extra umami and savory flavors to earthy fresh cremini and porcini mushrooms.
Isn’t Sherry a Sweet Fortified Wine?
One of the common misunderstandings about Sherry is that it’s always a sweet wine. In fact, Sherries are made in dry and sweet styles. Sherry is a fortified Spanish wine from Andalusia (Andalucía) in the south of Spain. It’s made in a traditional and unique aging style using the Solera system. Wines from different years are aged under a veil of yeast (flor). The contact with yeast gives the wine an array of distinctive savory and nutty flavors. Some wines go through biological aging, while others undergo oxidative aging.
The wines are blended in a way that keeps the final bottled wine consistent in style and taste over the years. Sherries can be aged for a very long time, and that special aging process yields deep and complex flavors to the wines.
Is it worth it to make mushroom soup with Sherry?
You can totally make this mushroom soup without Sherry. But I like to make it with this special wine as long as I have a bottle of Amontillado sherry in my fridge. Keep in mind that an open sherry bottle can be stored in the fridge for a few months (or more if you plan to use them for cooking).
The aromas of preserved lemons, hazelnuts and toasted almonds that come from Sherry are superb. It bursts with savory and umami flavors. That’s why making soup with a splash of Sherry is totally worth it— especially on a cold rainy day.
Don’t forget to see the instructions video at the end of the recipe.
Creamy Mushroom Soup with Extra Umami FlavorsCourse: SidesCuisine: International, FrenchDifficulty: Easy
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium leek without the green parts, chopped
1 cup sliced onions
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 ½ pounds sliced fresh cremini mushrooms, plus hot water for soaking
¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
1/3 cup white rice, preferably short grain like risotto
¼ cup dry sherry wine (optional)
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
3-4 cups hot water
salt for seasoning
optional: truffle salt or mushroom seasoning for extra umami flavors
- Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a medium bowl and add 1-2 cups hot boiled water. Cover and soak for 20 minutes. Preserve the soaking water to use later. Make sure the water is clear and discard sandy sediments.
- Using a Dutch oven or a large soup pot, melt the butter with olive oil on a low heat, add the onions and leeks, stir and cook for 10 minutes. Add Thyme and bay leaf.
- Add fresh mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, rice, Sherry wine and white wine (if using), and water. Season with salt and pepper if you like. Mix well and cover to let the soup simmer gently on low heat for one hour.
- Remove the bay leaf. Then use a blender to puree the soup into a smooth silky consistency. Add more water if it turned out too thick.
- Add truffle salt and mushroom seasoning if desired.
- Garnish with cream. Serve with toasted country bread or parmesan crostini.
- Dry Sherry wine such as Amontillado gives a nice savory flavor to the soup. White wine needs to be dry and have good acidity to boost the mushroom earthy flavors.