Friday, April 25, 2014

The Real Cream Of Mushrooms Soup

I've always loved cream of mushroom and I honestly think this is the best one I've ever had.

I love the intensely earthy flavours in this smooth cream of mushroom soup recipe. I wanted something thick and creamy, but not heavy. I've cooked this mushroom soup for at least 4 times. It's indeed a keeper.

Here, I used 4 types of mushrooms. From the left, fresh Shitake mushrooms, Portobello mushrooms, white button mushrooms and Chinese dried mushrooms. These are real stuff!

If you find it tedious of buying so many types of mushrooms, do consider to skip Portobello mushrooms and replaced by Brown button mushrooms. Whatever it is, please don't skip Chinese dried mushrooms. With the existence of Chinese dried mushrooms, this pot of mushroom soup will give absolutely wonderful depth of earthy flavour. Otherwise, I swear that fresh Cremini or Porcini mushrooms is the best alternative too.

(Source :, as reference)
  • 50g Butter
  • 2 Yellow Onion, chopped finely
  • 1 Russet Potato (Optional)
  • 2 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 1L Chicken Stock
  • 300g Portobello Mushroom
  • 300g Fresh Shitake Mushroom
  • 250g Fresh White Button Mushroom
  • 5 to 6 pcs Dried Chinese Mushrooms, soaked overnight, chopped finely
  • 4 to 5 Sprig Thymes or Sage
  • 150ml White Wine
  • 150ml Double Cream / Dairy Whipping Cream
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
for garnishing
  • some extra whipping cream
  • some spring onions or fresh parsley
  1. Do a quick rinse to the mushrooms. DO NOT soak the fresh mushrooms in the water. Chop Chinese mushrooms into fine pieces. Roughly chop the rest of the fresh mushrooms. 
  2. Heat a large stock pot over a medium heat and melt the butter. Add the chopped onions, give it a few stir. Add in diced potatoes and chopped Chinese mushrooms, give it a good stir, place a lid on top and let it sweat gently until the onions are softened, translucent and shrunken.
  3. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute more, then gradually stir in the stock. 
  4. Add the mushrooms and bring to the boil. Looking at the total amount of 1kg mushrooms, it may seems like mushrooms overwhelmed. But they will shrink considerably when they are cooked. 
  5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for about 20mins, until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the thymes.
  6. Remove 1/3 portion of the chunky mushroom soup, set aside. 
  7. Pour the remaining 2/3 portion of the mushroom soup into the blender or food processor, whiz until smooth. 
  8. Return the smooth blend and chunks back to the soup pot and stir in the white wine.
  9. Add cream and season with salt and pepper. 
  10. Warm through, without boiling. Ladle into bowls and garnish with drops or swirls of cream. Enjoy! 
Note :
  1. The existence of flour is to thicken the soup.
  2. By adding potatoes is to give the soup a good overall body, so as to reduce the usage of cream. However, adding potato is optional. 
  3. Remember to chop the Chinese mushrooms finely, so that it will cook well, as it takes longer time to cook and gives flavour faster.

Add the chopped onions, give it a few stir. Add in diced potatoes and chopped Chinese mushrooms, give it a good stir, place a lid on top and let it sweat gently until the onions are softened, translucent and shrunken.

Add the mushrooms and bring to the boil.

Remove 1/3 portion of the chunky mushroom soup, set aside. Pour the remaining 2/3 portion of the mushroom soup into the blender or food processor, whiz until smooth. After that, return the smooth blend and chunks back to the soup pot.

 Stir in the wine and finally, add cream and season with salt and pepper.

When Max's friend came to my house for lunch, I noticed that they stopped talking when they were having the soup. Hahaha... One of them couldn't raise her head to talk because she kept saying "Oh man@ This soup is so good!"

Another one, text Max and chase me for the recipe. She says "This is so so so much better than the one at The Soup Spoon!"

I'm glad that they liked it so much. 

Say NO to canned mushroom soups! No more salty and cream overload mushrooms soup! Say YES to the real thing!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bone Broth / Super Collagen Soup - (骨胶汤 / 胶原蛋白汤)

So you want to look young and radiant?

Forget about Botox! Drink Bone Broth for amazing skin! This magic pot of collagen soup could make your skin looks great!

This prolonged cooking of bones in water will give you results in a broth rich in nutritional constituents that promotes strength, nourish, help to prevent bone and connective tissue disorders and improves collagen level in your body!

Take a look at this real stuff. My bone broth produces a rubbery gelatin when chilled.

Home-made broth made from bones produces as much more nutritious gelatin that contains a wide range of minerals and amino acids. Most commercial gelatin products are made from animal skin and often contain MSG and something else that we might not know. Well. I'd prefer to consume real stuff, and cheaper too.

I prepared the soup in advance, chilled it. And I use the bone broth for some comforting noodles soup over the weekend. Of course, you could drink the soup just like that. Without noodles. It's up to you :)

Who doesn't know the goodness of collagen? I'd say, every woman should know! Collagen is the same as gelatin. It's just that the word Collagen used for its form when found in the body, and gelatin refers to the extracted collagen that is used as food. Gelatin is rich in amino acids. Although it is not a complete protein itself, it provides many amino acids and therefore decreases the amount of complete protein needed by the body.

Now, let me tell you where can you find collagen in nature and you could forget about botox. You see collagen almost everyday. It's in the skin, bones and joints of animals! For those people who say NO to pig skins, you totally have no idea how much collagen they have in there.

  • 2 Huge Pork Bones 大猪骨
  • 2 Chicken Carcass 鸡骨/鸡壳
  • 20pcs Chicken Feet 鸡脚
  • 200g Ground Nut / Raw Peanut, 花生 (Optional)
  • 4.5L Water 
  • Salt to taste (Optional)
  1. Pre-soak the peanuts overnight (or at least 5 hours) before use. Remove the skin from soaked peanut by rubbing it hard with each other. The reason is because I would prefer my soup to have a clearer broth. Peanut skins gives your soup darker color. Rinse the peanuts until water runs clear.
  2. Rinse pork bones, chicken carcass, chicken feet, parboil them for 3 to 5mins. Rinse again.
  3. In a big soup pot, add in everything except salt. Bring to a boil for 10mins. Then reduce heat and simmer the soup over low heat for 4 hours. 
  4. After simmering the bones for several hours, remove all the bones and strain the broth. I wanted clear broth. So, I strained the broth 2nd time through a very fine hair sieve. You should get about 2L broth after strained. If you are drinking it fresh, lightly salt it. If you are keeping it as a stock for future use, it salt it only when you reheat it for consumption.
Let me tell you my way of sourcing collagen. This! All the bones here! Go ahead and add more bones if you want. No strict rules here. Adding pork hooves is awesome idea too. Trust me! :)

This is a pot of powerful soup. When you cook the bones, it breaks down the collagen and it becomes easily digestible. I added peanut in there, because peanuts gives extra nutrients. But if you are adding peanuts into the soup (like me), please please please pre-soak your peanut overnight and wash them well. If not, your soup will turn dark color. Peanut skin gives you dark soup.

If you have Crockpot or slow cooker at home, do use it. Cooking the broth on low setting is an easy way to cook broth for a prolonged time. Do bear in mind that it is a must to remove the surface scum that arises occasionally during the cooking process to achieve nicer tasting and clear looking broth.

  1. Par-boiling and rinsing the bones before cooking and simmering the broth at low low heat is important. It helps to produce a clear broth as it greatly reduces the amount of residue in the liquid.
  2. The broth should be set to cool until the fat hardens on top. Then, remove the fat and refrigerate the broth. It will keep well in the refrigerator for a week, or upto a month in the freezer. 
  3. If your broth is properly prepared, it will gives you a rubbery, jellylike consistency broth due to the high gelatin content of the collagen. It is a great idea to prepare in advance, reheat it as a simple nutritious drink, or like me, use it for noodles.  
And if your broth looks like jello after it is chilled, YOU ARE A ROCK STAR!!! 

I reheat the jello-like bone broth to cook up some noodles here. It's simple, delicious, nutritious, and you don't need instant noodles anymore!

Ahhh!!! I love collagen! God knows how much! Look at the broth!

This is a super collagen soup. My grandma once told me... you drink this soup, you will become pretty. Oh well... olden days doesn't know what's collagen nor amino acid for sure :)
My grandma say it's beauty soup. Please drink more!!! Haha...

You may also like Chicken Feet Peanut Soup (花生鸡脚汤)