Margarita's Party Recipes

Christmas Eve Dinner - 2004

Les Halles Mushroom Soup

I am not a great fan of soup, but soup seems like such an essential part of a winter menu that I wanted to have one in my Xmas Eve menu. I also wanted to make something with mushrooms, and a mushroom soup seemed like a great compromise. We'd had an amazing mushroom soup at A Street Café in Hayward, so I at least knew that I liked mushroom soup.

I decided on this recipe because it was so easy and simple to make and required so few ingredients. It turned out very, very well. My sister, in particular, loved it and has asked me to make it again while she's visiting us. Still, as yummy as it was, we liked the one at A Street Cafe better.

I followed the original recipe very closely, including the recommendation of adding dried mushrooms (morels) to the finished product (I didn't slice fresh ones into cute flags, however). Next time I make it I'll add more dried mushrooms than one per person, however, as most people were disappointed that there weren't more. I'd also consider putting a little bit less sherry, perhaps 1 ˝ ounces instead of two, as the taste of sherry was a little too strong (I used the sherry sold at Trader Joe's). Now that I have truffle oil, I'll probably pour a tiny bit of it into the soup.

This recipe is a full meal for 2 people, it would also work as an appetizer for 4 or as a small course for 6.

Les Halles Mushroom Soup


  • 6 tbsps. butter
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 oz. sliced white mushrooms
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 sprig of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz. sherry
  • a little butter
  • 3 grams dried morels or cépes


    Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it's soft and translucent. Add the remaining butter and mushrooms. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure the onion doesn't brown. Add the chicken broth and the parsley, stir and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour.

    Remove the parsley and discard. Transfer the soup to the blender and blend at high speed until smooth, you may need to do this in batches. Return to the saucepan, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer again. Add the sherry and mix well.

    If making in advance, let the soup cool, put in the fridge and re-warm before you're ready to serve.

    Soak the dried mushrooms in water, drain. Melt the butter and sear the mushrooms for a few minutes. Add to the soup and serve.

    Adapted from a recipe from the Les Halles cookbook, published at

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