Thursday, 9 August 2012

Potage Velouté Aux Champignons - #CookForJulia

Already a few days ago I saw the following through a fellow blogger:

Cook For Julia Teal Logo #CookForJulia

Some of you may know Julia Child from television, because she had a regular television show (or even more). Well, I'm not the 'Sea of Knowledge'! I know and own her two volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which also involved Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. Then I saw also the 2009 movie Julie & Julia. OK, it was the other way round, first movie then book.
Since I have those books now I fully can understand the challenge in cooking through the whole book. In fact, I have only tried a few recipes so far. Now I tried again to share something for #CookForJulia.
At first those recipes for Cassoulet and Ratatouille jumped to my attention. However, sentences like: "You can prepare it in one day, but two or even three days of leisurely on-and-off cooking are much easier." put me off.
Therefore I had to look for something else. I ended up with a soup (again - as I have done a soup from the book before) and a dessert.
Now we can come to the soup: Potage Velouté Aux Champignons. For all those, who are not so good at French (or haven't guessed it by the slightly similar words), it's a Cream of Mushroom Soup.
I was prepared already before by having nearly 1 kg of butter at home. Of course, mushrooms are involved and therefore needed as well.

Somehow I couldn't find a picture of the first part in the pan on my camera anymore afterwards. So you simply use your imagination to see the onions in the pan with just the butter and without flour.

The stems of the mushrooms being prepared, shortly before they go into the pan together with chicken stock and a few other things.

While all this is simmering it gives me the opportunity to practice some slicing on the heads of the mushrooms.

Additionally (you see in the picture, I left some caps unsliced) and that is now for decoration purposes, in Julia's book you find instructions also for fluted mushroom caps. I had a try.

... and another try. It wasn't so easy. But was it worth it. We will see later.

After that we can go on with more important things. The soup base has to be strained to get a clear broth.

Then the sliced mushroom caps can go in. Hm, not really, they have to be cooked for 5 minutes, but then they go.

There is still more work to do. The broth and the mushrooms have to simmer for a while. Meanwhile you prepare some egg yolks together with some French cream and then ...

... scoop the soup bit by bit into it. Then back to the pan. Briefly heating up again, adding a bit of butter and then ...

... you should be able to eat it, garnished with a bit of parsley and those fluted caps. I had to have some slices of baguette with it as well!
"Bon Appétit!" 
Can you see the fluted caps?

Maybe a zoom will do. Hm ... it's not so impressive as I imagined it would be. Anyway, nowadays people buy mixtures for ready made mushroom soup and have less work. On the other hand, they are also having less fun and less flavour.
It was really enjoyable preparing this soup and the book has a quite good step-by-step description to do everything. Although not having any food photos in it, I still enjoy looking and cooking with Julia and Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Well now, I said something a bout a dessert in the beginning. By now, this post has already gotten quite long and I decide to do a sequel to this post later ... to be continued ...
Next time you see quite some orange liqueur and fire ...
Usually I hate it, when they do that on television. The tension is rising and suddenly it is over and you have to wait for the next one, probably a whole week.
I reckon you will survive it. Hm ... wait ... hm ... not!
Come again to this blog next time, if you want to hear Julia Child say: "Bon Appétit!"
That reminds me of the Muppet Show now. Was Julia Child ever on the Muppet Show. I did some research and couldn't find anything. Whatsoever ...


  1. Goodness what a lot of work, your fluted mushrooms look great in the finished soup. I don't eat packet soup, but I'm sure there must be an easier way to make a tastier mushroom soup!

    1. Ah, it was not too bad and you don't have to flute the mushrooms, but of course it is not something for a quick mid-week meal.

  2. I have also been cooking Julia Child recipes for the #CookForJulia event. It has been a wonderful experience and I am glad to see you are joining in the fun.

    1. Yes, well, in fact, you were the fellow food blogger I mentioned at the beginning. And fun it is indeed.

  3. Looks fantastic Chris and as mushrooms are one of my favourites, I expect it tasted pretty darn good too.


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