Mushroomy Onion Soup

I had heard so much about the french onion soup. I had to try it. Long long ago, when I landed a job, I took Honey out for a treat to a local restaurant. I saw the soup on the menu and was very excited about trying it. I asked the waitress if the soup contained meat. She said no. I was ecstatic. I ordered the soup ate it and enjoyed it. As a new bee to this country and to the culture, I did no know the difference between 'something containing meat' and something being 'vegetarian'. It did hit me like a tonne of bricks watching a cookery show where they called for beef stock in their french onion soup. The next time we were in the same restaurant I asked the waitress the right question. No it was not vegetarian. I did not want to know what was in there. It was sad. So if you are new to the States and what to know if the food is vegetarian, shoot the straight question. Never try to state a complicated problem the way I did.
The was my only experience with the soup. But I did enjoy the soup. I had been thinking of making my own version of the soup. This time I did and loved it. It is quite simple to substitute chicken stock/beef stock call for in most recipes. Just use Porcini/ dried shiitake mushrooms. Soak them and use the soaking liquid as a substitute to stock. Throw in a few bay leaves, cloves and a piece of cinnamon. The broth will be as flavorful as any meat based stock. I routinely use this method and get excellent results all the time. The Shiitake mushrooms does smell sort of fishy but I am ok with it. I did rather do the fishy mushroom than an over processed junk called bouillon/ stock cubes. Just a look at the ingredient list of the cubes is good enough to put me off for the rest of my life. No thanks Nestle, I am good on my own.

We will need,

Mushrooms 1/2 lb chopped
Onions 2 large chopped
Shiitake mushrooms 5-6 caps soaked in hot water
Kashmiri chilli (dried)-1
Butter 1 tbsp
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Garlic 2 cloves
Soy sauce to taste
Rice vinegar/ lemon juice to taste
Ginger root 1/2"
Mint for garnish.

  • Heat the butter and oil in a thick bottom pot. Throw in the chopped  onion. Cook the onions till the onions are deep brown in colour. Keep stirring making sure that the onions do not burn. It took me about 30 minutes to get there.
  • Push the onions to the side and throw the chopped garlic. Cook for a quick minute.
  • Throw in the chopped mushrooms , the soaking liquid. 
  • Chop the shiitake mushroom and throw them into the pot as well.
  • Puncture the Kashmiri chilli and throw it  into the soup pot. Bring it to a boil.
  • Simmer and cook till the mushrooms are tender and the soup has come together.
  • Adjust the soy sauce and vinegar.
  • Garnish with fresh slivers of ginger and chopped mint. Serve warm with some crusty bread or with cheese toasts.


Sudhir R said...

Looks Tasty and delicious. I love soups. But then is there something I do not?

radha said...

Like we ordered a cheese burger at McDonald in London some 12 years ago and they had the cheese with a big beef patty !

This mushroom soup looks yummy.