Chanterelles have a wonderfully delicate, woodsy flavor that pairs beautifully with cream and butter.
This recipe is an adaptation of Auguste Escoffier’s Velouté Agnes Sorel, from his culinary bible Le Guide Culinaire, and uses both a velouté (a classic French white sauce, made by stirring a light stock into a roux of butter and flour) and a liaison (a binding or thickening agent, typically a mixture of cream and egg yolks used to thicken soups or stews).
This recipe makes four to six servings.
For the velouté:
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
For the soup:
- 1 pound fresh chanterelles
- 2 minced shallots
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 shot brandy (preferably Armagnac)
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron
- Salt to taste
Make the velouté: Heat the stock to a bare simmer. In another pot, heat the butter until frothing and stir in the flour. Stirring all the while, let this cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Do not let it brown. Whisk the hot stock into the roux and let this simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. You want it to slowly cook down by at about 1/4 and be silky looking.
Make the soup base: While the velouté is simmering, make the mushroom base. Mince the mushrooms and shallots fine and sweat them in a sauté pan over medium heat with a touch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallots are translucent and the mushrooms have given up their water.
Crumble the saffron into the brandy and add to the mushroom base. Turn the heat up to high and toss or stir to combine. Cook until the brandy has nearly evaporated. Pulse the mushroom base into a puree in a food processor (if you want a more refined soup, push this puree through a fine-mesh strainer before adding it to the soup).
Make the soup: When the velouté is ready, add the mushroom puree and stir well to combine. Cook at a bare simmer for 10 minutes (if you want, you can use this time to make a mushroom garnish for the soup- simply slice a few chanterelles lengthwise and sear them in a dry pan until they give up their water and brown).
Make the liaison: Beat together the egg yolks and cream, then ladle — a little at a time — some soup base into the egg-cream mixture. tempering the eggs with the hot stock slowly, so they do not congeal. Once you have 3 or 4 ladles of soup into egg-cream mixture, pour it all back into the soup and simmer. Do not boil or the liaison will break (for an extra-refined soup, put the soup through the fine-mesh strainer again to remove any lumps and return to low heat).
Finishing the soup: To finish the soup, turn off the heat and whisk in the remaining butter. Garnish with seared mushrooms in the center and a sprinkle of fresh parsley or tarragon, and serve.
last updated August 17, 2023