Reader’s Kitchen Tip and Soup Recipe – From The Contessa

Dearest Diva,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I just have to tell you about the most marvelous kitchen tool my husband, Sir Jeffrey, bought me. It’s called a Mezzaluna and he got it from the Nigella Lawson Living Kitchen catalogue. It’s shaped like a crescent moon and is made of stainless steel. The moon edge is very sharp and makes chopping and cutting a breeze. I’ve used it on fresh herbs and most recently on several pounds of mushrooms. I was making one of my signature recipes (a divine cream of mushroom soup) and had to chop lots of mushrooms and also shallots. The Mezzaluna made the whole job so easy; I couldn’t believe I ever chopped with knives. It has handles on both sides so you just rock and chop. I love it!

Just a little tip for those foodies that read your blog.

Bon Appetite!

The Contessa


The Contessa’s Divine Cream of Mushroom Soup!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 291px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />
2 lbs of fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter ( I used salted)
4-5 shallots, chopped fine
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup of sherry or other white wine
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
optional garnish…chopped fresh parsley

First of all regarding the mushrooms…You can use any kind that your local market has fresh. Sometimes I use your basic plain mushroom but sometimes I like to mix it up with shitake, baby bells, chanterelles, etc.

Finely chop the mushrooms and shallots.

In a large pan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots; turn the heat up a bit and sauté, stirring frequently about 20 or so minutes. When the mushrooms look like a dark brown paste and most of the liquid has evaporated, add the flour
and stir.

Add the cream and deglaze the pan, then simmer about another 15 minutes until it thickens. Be careful it doesn’t stick. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Now at this point, if you want your soup to have the consistency of bisque, you can puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Personally, I prefer to keep it chunky.

Before you serve, add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and finally the wine. I have tried it with sherry and white wine which I prefer. A nice dry white wine is great.

Serve with a nice crusty bread and salad and you have a wonderful dinner!

SignUp for Antiques Diva Blogs
Never miss the latest Diva post!
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
We respect your privacy, and never SPAM! Read our Privacy Policy here.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • This is what the Eskimos call a ULU knife and it's as handy as a pocket on a shirt!
    For those who don't have this knife yet need to chop nuts…put nuts in a plastic bag and roll over them with a rolling pin. Easy peasy.

  • awe shux, you’re making me blush! Thanks for the compliments. I love to cook as you know (and as my waistline will confirm) so maybe I’ll pass along a few more of my favorites.

  • Phivos,
    Thanks! And Happy Easter to you too!!!

    La Reine,
    Good tip!!! I hate chopping nuts!

    Another delicious recipe from you!! You really should write a cook book – I’d be the first in line to buy a copy!! Thanks for another great guest blog!

  • Kelli,

    I can confirm this soup is DIVINE!!! When The Contessa gave me the recipe I fell instantly in love with it… I love that I can switch out the mushroom varieties to change the flavor. I recently made it using only crimini mushrooms and the flavor was spectacular! Another time I used a mix of seasonal varieties and it made such a subtle difference in the flavor.

    Another interesting point about this recipe is you can change the veggie (mushrooms in this instance) to create an entirely different soup with the same recipe!! Aubergine Soup anyone? Crème de Asperge? The base is ideal! The Contessa ROCKS!

    The Antiques Diva

  • Yes it is. I’m making a spinach, apricot and strawberry salad for Easter dinner and I had to chop some Pistachios to sprinkle on top with the vinegaret. Mezzaluna to the rescue. It’s also great for fresh herbs onions. I love it.