BY LAURA DAVIS, Eastern Shore of Virginia food columnist —
Did you know that September is National Mushroom Month? I didn’t.
It seems as if every day of every month is a different National Food Holiday.
I figured with the slight chill of fall in the air, what is a better way to welcome it than a delicious soup?
For over the past 20 years we had a great little place here on Chincoteague Island called Sea Star Cafe.
The owners Mercer and Brian were there, every day, churning out wonderful sandwiches and homemade soups.
The business and building are now for sale, and they weren’t open this season.
They were missed by many this year, me included — but we wish them well for the next chapter of their lives.
One of my favorite soups they offered was a mushroom-brie bisque.
I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms (love the flavor, hate the texture), so I stayed away from it for years.
One day my friend had ordered it with her lunch, and I stole a bite. I was hooked.
I was also pregnant at the time, so as luck would have it, I developed a craving for this soup.
Sea Star always closed for a few months in the offseason, and I had to come up with a version I could make at home.
This comforting soup is rich, silky, and delicious.
I think the wedge of Brie, as opposed to the small wheel, is better for this application.
It seemed to melt down into the soup better.
I hope everyone is as ready for fall as I am. Enjoy!
— 2 shallots, minced
— 6 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and chopped
– 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
— 2 tablespoons butter
— 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
— 2 cups heavy cream (or half and half)
— 8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed and cubed
— 2 tablespoons corn starch
— 2 tablespoons water to mix with corn starch
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
Add mushrooms and shallots, and sauté until most of the water has cooked out of the mushrooms, about 5 minutes.
Add chicken stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the heavy cream, as well as the chunks of brie cheese.
Simmer the soup, whisking until the cheese melts down.
Make a “slurry” with the corn starch and water, and whisk into the soup to thicken.
Bring to a soft, rolling boil and remove from the heat.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.