Waste not! Mushroom Soup with Chicken Mousseline
When you have trimmings of raw meat, or a lone chicken breast or thigh, or fish that has to be cooked or thrown out, use them: Puree them with cream and seasonings — add a reserved egg white or yolk when you have one on hand — and poach this new mixture called mousseline, forcemeat, quenelle. You can serve them in soup as I did here, or as a main dish with a sauce. The ratio is 2:1 meat:cream. The more cream, the lighter the product.
I have stock I made from a second vigorous boiling of the bones. This stock is cloudy and contains less flavor but it is full of body.
To create the base flavor, I sweat onions and carrots in a bit of butter; to put chicken flavor back to the stock I made quenelles; to layer savory flavors , I used different mushrooms.
The soup was now savory with mushrooms and chicken, the body lingered lightly, but for the full experience it required richness from cream. Mouthfeel is the full sense of taste, thickness, body, and richness from fat, here, from two tablespoons full fat cream. This soup is not heavy; it is filling, satisfying, warming.
The soup was improvised, as were the quenelles. I knew I needed to put chicken flavor back into my broth and that chicken, mushrooms, and cream are delicious together. A basic formula to work with follows.
Tier one:(you must use)
- 200 grams of chicken breast (any cut of meat will work, but traditionally they were made with white meats, fish, or shellfish)
- 100 grams of cream (other fats can be used, but cream is traditional)
Tier two: (suggested)
- Seasonings which match the meat or dish (here I only used salt and pepper)
Tier three (optional)
- Bacon or ham (used as a seasoning and form of fat for the dish, adjust the cream)
- Whole egg, egg white, or yolk (traditionally they bind, but they are not necessary)
- Sour cream or creme fraiche can replace all or some of the cream
- A flavorful seasoned oil can replace a small part of the cream
Note: Cookbooks from the 1900’s and before use a water/flour/butter mixture called panade and/or breadcrumbs, but here we just want to use leftovers, or cook something off the cuff.
Put the cut meat in the food processor with the seasonings (and bacon/ham) and puree; then slowly add the cream (or other fat), and finally the egg. Blending should take one to two minutes. Next, shape the mixture with two tablespoons and drop in simmering — not boiling — water, soup, or stock. Cover the pot and cook for ten minutes. The quenelles will exchange flavors with whatever liquid you use and can be eaten with soup or as a main dish with a sauce .