There used to be a fabulous little restaurant on the first floor of the Pioneer Building in downtown Saint Paul: Cedar Street Café. It was run by two marvelous women: Marie Jean Proulx and Karen Stephens. The Café opened shortly after I started working in the building in 1986, and my co-workers and I were regulars there for the ten years it was open. (We still mourn the loss of that Café, but we’re happy to have copies of the cookbook Marie Jean and Karen published a couple of years after it closed.)
One of the soups served at the Café was mushroom barley vegetarian soup. I steered clear of it. I liked mushrooms well enough, but mushroom soup was something I thought I could have gone through life without ever having tried and been perfectly happy.
I was wrong.
When I finally tried it, I regretted not having tried it much sooner. I don’t know if it was the mushrooms or the sherry.
(It was the sherry.)
Hey. Did you know that button mushrooms are also called Paris mushrooms? Pretty fancy name for such a humble, unassuming mushroom. And I admit, I was tempted to use baby portabellas, but I resisted and bought the buttons.
I’m glad I did.
Dorie’s mushroom soup is just as good a the Cedar Street Café soup.
It’s started with butter, onions, and garlic. Then a little more butter and the mushrooms. After the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates, you add a half cup of wine. And when that wine hits those mushrooms, the aroma is … intoxicating.
The soup is ladled over a little salad of thinly sliced mushrooms, parsley, chives, scallions, salt, and pepper.
Nice touch, Dorie!
I finished the soup with a little dollop of crème fraiche.
Jim loved this soup and said it was his favorite of the French Friday recipes so far. I loved it too, but I’m not sure what I loved most about it.
(It was the wine.)