Mushroom Bisque

Modified from The New York Times Cookbook, Craig Claiborne, 1961, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., New York, NY, p 70.
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Soups
Keyword: Freezes Well
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 1 pound fresh white mushrooms washed well
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup yellow onion finely chopped, approximately 1 medium onion
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted margarine or butter
  • 7 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups 2% milk preheated in microwave
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Tobasco sauce to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry

Garnish - optional

  • reserve 6 mushroom caps
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter


  • If desired for garnish, reserve and slice six mushroom caps. Set aside.Trim dry ends from mushroom stems. Grind or chop remaining mushrooms very fine, a food processor works well. Place in 6-quart stock pot. Add chicken broth and chopped onions. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for thirty minutes, uncovering in last fifteen minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare Béchamel (white sauce). In 3-quart saucepan make a white roux by melting margarine or butter, adding flour and whisking until blended. Do not allow to brown. Gradually add hot milk to butter-flour mixture, stirring vigorously with whisk until sauce is thick and smooth. Set aside off heat. 
  • For garnish, in small pan melt margarine or butter and saute reserved sliced mushroom caps; reserve.
  • While whisking, add the Béchamel sauce to mushroom-broth mixture, season to taste with salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. Reheat and add sherry just before serving. Garnish with sauteed sliced mushrooms.


A single batch yields 2 quarts. Doubling fills 8-quart pot. A double batch takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. For a ricer version substitute some cream for milk.