The weather is turning colder. We’re about to have the coldest weather in several years, with daily high temperatures not even reaching the freezing mark.
We live in an apartment that is partially below ground, with an ancient, inefficient heating system, so sweatshirts, fuzzy socks, and warm meals are in order this week.
I’ve been making an effort to expand my repertoire of soups beyond the standard chicken noodle. I’ve come to love cream of mushroom soup, and when I saw this Mushroom and Brie Bisque on the blog The Jey of Cooking, I was in love before I even tasted it. I mean, come on, Brie cheese! How can anything with Brie not taste great?
I actually ended up making this soup twice, since I made a few adaptations the first time, and wasn’t quite satisfied with the results. See, I like the taste of mushrooms, but not the texture. So, I pureed the soup before adding the Brie, but I think because there was more liquid, the flavor of the Brie got lost. Also, I may have forgotten to defrost the sheet of frozen puff pastry to make the puff pastry square toppers.
So, the second time around, I remembered to make the puff pastry toppers, and doubled the amount of Brie, and all was right with the world. Or at least, with the soup.
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 1 (4-ounce) packaged of mixed mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup Madeira wine
- 6 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 2 cup half-and-half
- 12 oz Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp water
- Herbs de Provence
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add the shallot and mushrooms and cook until both begin to soften, stirring frequently, about five minutes. Add the Madeira and the beef broth. Increase the heat to high until the mixture boils, then reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the sheet of puff pastry to 9x12 inches. Cut into twelve 3-inch squares. Spread evenly on the baking sheet. Brush with the beaten egg/water mixture and sprinkle with Herbs de Provence. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, and puree the soup until smooth with an immersion blender. Return to the stovetop over medium heat and add the half-and-half and brie cheese to the soup. Stir with a whisk until the cheese is melted.
- In a small dish, mix together the cornstarch and water until smooth, then add to the soup. Bring to a boil, and cook at a boil, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the nutmeg.
- Divide soup into bowls and serve each bowl with 2 puff pastry squares.