Chanterelle Soup

4.79 from 64 votes
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Chantrelle mushrooms growing
Photo by Hank Shaw

If Porcini are the kings of the mushroom world, chanterelles are its queen.

There are several varieties of chanterelle, ranging from the white to the cinnabar to the various yellow ones. Golden chanterelles are the most common variety of chanterelle here in the West, and those in the Pacific Northwest can start getting them in July. Here they don’t really pop until October, although you can go up to Humboldt and dodge the pot farmers for them in September.

Golden chanterelles are far less meaty and are more delicate than porcini, or really most any other common edible mushroom. Chanterelles taste floral and smell fruity, although I could not quite pick up the apricot notes many say golden chanterelles possess.

To me, chanterelles are less of a beef-venison-duck mushroom than a wild boar-pheasant-fish mushroom. Think white wine instead of red.

When cooking with mushrooms in general — and golden chanterelles in specific — lean towards butter as a cooking medium. Mushrooms enjoy a bath in butter far more than they do a dip in any other sort of fat or oil. I defy you to not swoon when you smell chanterelles, garlic and bacon sizzling in a pan of hot butter.

Butter is nice, but butter and cream are better. This chanterelle soup is an ode to the grand master of classic French cooking, Auguste Escoffier and his culinary bible, Le Guide Culinaire — it is, in essence, a cream of mushroom soup.

But this ain’t your mama’s cream of mushroom soup, folks. No packets here, no cans, either. This is the real deal. Remember how the wicked chef in the movie “Ratatouille”  rolled his eyes back in his head when he tasted Remy’s soup? This is that kind of soup. And this is about as classic French as it gets.

This is, dear readers, the Sexiest Soup in the World: Escoffier’s Cream of Chanterelle Soup.

The flavor hammers you with chanterelle’s beguiling flavor, backed with a whiff of saffron, the creamy mouthfeel of a classic veloute (stock whisked with a blond roux), and a slightly slutty wink from the dash of Armagnac I put in, all given added heft from a liaison of cream and egg yolks. Folks, this is what you want to eat right before a romp with Bella — fleas be damned.

finished chanterelle soup recipe
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Veloute, you say? Liaison? If you’ve dusted off your Mastering the Art of French Cooking, you may have recently been reminded of these terms, or if you are classically trained you may be having flashbacks.

Veloute (vel-oo-TAY), is easy. It’s a mixture of hot stock and a roux made from equal parts flour and butter. You must whisk in the stock to get the mixture to set correctly, which, when it does, makes a broth that looks like liquid satin.

Liaison is a bit harder, but only a bit. It is an ancient method of thickening a soup, by adding a mixture of beaten egg yolks and cream (the Greeks make avgolemono by adding a mixture of egg yolks and lemon). The trick is to temper your eggs so they do not scramble, then never letting the soup boil after the liaison is added.

The result? Not just any old chanterelle soup. This is sex in a bowl.

Looking for more chanterelle recipes besides chanterelle soup? I make a mean chanterelle pasta, and an even better chanterelle risotto.

chanterelle soup recipe
4.79 from 64 votes

Escoffier's Chanterelle Soup

This is my adaptation of Auguste Escoffier’s Veloute Agnes Sorel, from his classic Le Guide Culinaire. This is a rich, lovely mushroom soup that screams for Chardonnay — or at least some sort of full-bodied white that’s gone through malolactic fermentation. Maybe a Viognier. What makes this soup Escoffier is the fact that I am using a veloute (vel-oo-TAY), a mixture of a simple butter-flour roux and poultry stock. I am also putting the soup together the way Escoffier directs, although I leave the addition of a liaison of eggs and cream up to you. I like it.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: French
Servings: 6 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients 

VELOUTE

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour

SOUP

  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, ideally chanterelles
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 shot glass brandy
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • Salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Make the veloute. 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.
  • While the veloute is simmering, make the mushroom base. Mince the mushrooms and shallots fine and sweat them in a saute pan over medium heat with a touch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallots are translucent and the mushrooms give up their water.
  • Crumble the saffron into the brandy and add it to the mushroom base. Turn the heat up to high and toss or stir to combine. Cook until the brandy is nearly gone. Buzz the mushroom base into a puree in a food processor. OPTIONAL: If you want a truly refined French soup, push this puree through a fine-mesh strainer.
  • When the veloute is ready, add the mushroom puree and stir well to combine. Cook this at a bare simmer for 10 minutes. OPTIONAL: If you want a mushroom garnish, slice a few chanterelles lengthwise and sear them in an dry pan until they give up their water and brown.
  • Beat together the egg yolks and cream, then ladle — a little at a time — some soup base into the egg-cream mixture. This is called a liaison, and you are 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 it will break. OPTIONAL: Put this soup through the fine-mesh strainer again to remove any lumps and return to low heat.
  • To finish the soup, turn off the heat and whisk in the remaining butter. Serve with the seared mushrooms in the center, with crusty bread and white wine. Enjoy decadence.

Notes

If you can't find chanterelles, other shrooms I’d suggest would be, in order: porcini, morels, cremini, button. If you make this with another kind of mushroom and like it, definitely leave me a comment so I can give it a whirl.

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 362mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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120 Comments

  1. Looks delicious! What are your thoughts on making it in advance? That could be defined as anywhere from a day ahead to a few hours and holding it on a low stove. It’ll be part of a multi-course menu so won’t have time to focus on in independently. Thanks in advance!

    1. Stephanie: You can make it ahead up to the liaison at the end. That needs to be done close to service. You can finish it and keep it on the stovetop for an hour or even two if you need to, just bring it up to temp slowly.

      1. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! Look forward to wowing my guests with this. 🙂

  2. Thank you for a fabulous recipe. We were camping in the bush and even though I had to make some substitutions the recipe turned out amazing. I’ve made it since several times and each time it’s worked out fabulous. Rich. Smooth. Tasty. No matter what tweaks I’ve had to make to accommodate limitations in the kitchen pantry it’s been consistently fabulous.

    Thanks for becoming my go to location for how to cook and elevate wild food.

  3. A question (before I cook): I bought lb of chanterelles from farmers market on Sunday (today is Tuesday), but I may not have time to cook the soup til the following Saturday. Should I freeze the mushrooms then cook or will they be ok in paper bag until then or?

    1. Casey: i don’t know how old the mushrooms are. That matters. So to be safe, I’d saute them or otherwise cook them, and they will hold in the fridge until Sunday.

  4. I absolutely love this recipe@ I cannot get enough of it! When the chanterelle mushroom season is over, I will definitely try it with some crimini or other mushroom. but for now I’ll be making this until the end of November!