Potato Mushroom Soup

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Potato Mushroom Soup
By Charlie Burke

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My wife, Joanne, has been making this thick earthy soup for years, serving it as a
light dinner for us or as a first course for guests. It is easy to prepare and would
be a healthy start to Thanksgiving dinner or to any fall or winter meal. You can
make it a couple days before the holiday and simply reheat it just before
serving. The addition of caraway seeds adds a mildly exotic taste, while the mix
of mushrooms varies the soup’s texture.

4 generous servings:

2 large shallots, chopped
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into1 ½ - 2 inch pieces
½ tablespoon butter
5 cups chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
2 teaspoons fresh marjoram (1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
6 – 8 ounces mixed mushrooms, such as shitake and crimini, thinly sliced
(substitute button mushrooms if others are unavailable)
Salt and pepper to taste (little salt is needed if using commercial stock)

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. When butter foams,
add shallots and sauté until soft. Add chicken stock, potatoes, caraway seeds
and marjoram. Bring soup to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cook until
potatoes are soft, 20 – 25minutes.

While soup is cooking, film a nonstick sauté pan with olive oil or vegetable
spray and heat pan over medium – high heat. Sauté the sliced mushrooms until
their liquid is evaporated and they are well browned. Set mushrooms aside.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender. Reheat in
pan, if necessary, add vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving
bowls and top with the mushroom slices.

This simple soup is an example how a few harmonious ingredients combine to
make a dish where the whole seems greater than the sum of the parts, as in Julia
Child’s leek and potato soup and the “
potage” of three vegetables we found in
Normandy last month. It is my favorite kind of recipe: inexpensive,
uncomplicated and full of flavor.

More Cold Weather Soup Recipes:
Butternut Squash Soup
French Onion Soup
Garlic Soup
Irish Mushroom Soup
Potage 3 Legume

About the author:

An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the vice president of
the New Hampshire Farmer’s Market Association (
www.nhfma.org) and helps
run the Sanbornton Farmers' Market. Along with his wife, Joanne, he grows
certified organic herbs, greens and berries at Weather Hill Farm in Sanbornton,
NH.  His column & recipes appear weekly in The Heart of New England's
newsletter... To get your free subscription send a blank email to

Do you have a food-related question? Write to Charlie at crjoburke@earthlink.net
(Please put "The Heart of New England" in the subject line.)
Potato Mushroom Soup
The Heart of New England
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