Mushroom Cappuccino

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Certified Master Chef Brad Barnes demonstrates how to prepare Cream of Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Foam. According to classic definitions, a cream soup is based on a bechamel sauce—which is milk thickened with roux—and is finished with heavy cream, making it very rich and high in calories. The CIA’s recipe for cream of mushroom soup is made lighter by cutting back on the amount of butter and cream, and then relying on the pureed vegetables to add texture to the soup.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Makes 8 servings

  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 8 cups chopped mushrooms (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/4 cups thinly sliced leek (white part only)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, heated
  • Fresh lemon juice, as needed
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper, as needed

Optional Garnishes:

  • 1/4 cup small diced peeled red pepper, sautéed until tender
  • 1/4 cup chopped hard-boiled egg whites
  • 1/4 cup leeks sautéed until tender
  • 1/4 cup celery sautéed until tender
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms sautéed until tender
  • Parmesan Foam (recipe below)
  1. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the chopped mushrooms, celery, and leek. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the broth gradually. Add the thyme sprig, bring to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a skillet. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
  5. Remove and discard the thyme. Puree the soup, then strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. Return the soup to the soup pot and place over low heat. Add the heavy cream and season to taste with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Heat the soup, but do not boil.
  6. Serve in heated bowls, garnished with the reserved cooked mushrooms.

Nutritional information per 8-ounce serving without garnishes: 200 calories, 17g total fat, 5g protein, 140mg sodium, 10g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber

Parmesan Foam

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy lecithin
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (you may substitute mushroom broth)
  1. Combine the milk and soy lecithin in a saucepan; scald the milk. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese, garlic, and pepper. Steep this mixture at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Strain the milk and discard the cheese and seasonings.
  3. Pour liquid into a 1-quart measuring cup and froth with an emersion blender until foam develops.
  4. Spoon foam on top of soup.