Friday, October 21, 2011

Mushroom soup with a side of snails

Apparently, there’s a popular TV series called Game of Thrones, and it’s based on a series of fantasy books. Admittedly, not being a fan of the genre, I don’t know much about them. Probably why I’m not into video games like World of Warcraft and the like, either.

BUT I do like to trawl the interweb, and there is a website (Inn at the Crossroads) that interprets recipes from meals in the Game of Thrones books, and some of them are real doozies. The descriptions of the food in the books really draw you in, as they are sort of medieval and evocative, and cleverly, Inn at the Crossroads also gives a modern interpretation of the dishes as well.

This recipe for ‘Cream of mushroom and escargot soup’ sounded interesting so I thought I’d try it – that, and the fact that there were 2 cans of escargot in the cupboard that I wanted to get rid of. In the end, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post about this recipe, though. It all came down to a can of funky snails. On opening the can, it smelt like a herd of flatulent cats had let off a joint stink bomb, and well, you get the picture. As a result, after cooking the soup with a peg on my nose, the snails were served on the side of the soup. Maybe try this recipe with decent snails next time.

Creamy Mushroom Soup with Snails
Serves 6

3 cups chopped mushrooms, such as button or chestnut, swiss brown, shiitake
1 eschalot, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
4 tblsp butter
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup light cream

Snails on the side:
125g (4 ½ oz) can of snails, drained
1 tblsp butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ bunch chives, chopped

1. For the soup: Combine mushrooms, eschalot and chicken stock in a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and use a blender or stick blender to liquefy the mixture.
2. For the sauce: In a separate pan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour. Add milk and cream stirring constantly until smooth, Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Pour the mushroom and stock mixture into the sauce and stir until combined.
4. For the snails: Sauté the snails, garlic and chives with the butter over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Serve with the soup.

Recipe adapted from
Rustic ingredients: large field mushrooms, swiss brown mushrooms, eschalots and chives

Dodgy ingredient: Canned snails (escargot). These ones are product of Indonesia, probably NOT a nation famous for their snail exports.

The garlicky, buttery sauce was delicious. Shame about the manky snails.
PS: The original recipe says to chop up the snails and add to the soup.

The soup, on the other hand, was sublime. Creamy but not too rich, and fresh-tasting at the same time.

There was plenty of soup for leftovers - the same can't be said of the snails.
Mr Garbage Bin enjoyed them, however.


  1. Canned snails - wow, what will they think of next. Game of Thrones is a great show - I normally hate this genre also, but there's something about it that's totally addictive.

  2. I'm kind of amazed that you had canned escargot in your cabinet..we definitely don't have that here in the US! Craziness.

  3. Doesn't everyone have a tin of snails in their pantry? Your description of them when you opened the tin is priceless! A pic of your cat pawing at them would have been great to see as well.

  4. haha....if I ever see canned snails from Idnonesia, I'll be sure to stay away from them ;) I never knew you could get canned snails though!! The soup sounds delicious though! i think I've heard of Game of Thrones (though i'm not into the fantasy genre either) but would never have thought of recipes being interpreted from a book like that! how do you find these interesting websites??? haha....

  5. I love the mushroom soup .. creamy, but not pasty, and comforting.
    Never had canned escargot...great clicks.

  6. Yum! The mushroom soup looks so lovely! Think I might give the snails a miss but I loved reading this post. It made me laugh out loud!

  7. Wow, canned snails huh? They don't look so great, but your soup looks fantastic, and I love that it's a recipe based on Game of Thrones :)

  8. I didnt even know you could get canned snails? Sounds like its for the best. Where would you buy fresh?

  9. Glad you came along on our culinary adventure! Beautiful photos, too!

  10. As I said, I've been waiting to read about these offending snails! Not to worry, the soup looks comforting without being too thick and gungy - manky snails on the side, optional? =D

  11. I love escargot and I wish I can get canned ones here. The mushroom soup looks superb. Fabulous picture as always!