Friday, February 20, 2015

Mushroom Cappuccino and a Winter Break

I know many of you are suffering the winter blahs, especially those of you buried under snow in the Northeast. So I thought I’d give you a break from all of the whiteness with a few photos from my trip on the Carnival Magic to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed going on a cruise. Most of you know from past posts that I love winter! I've never felt the need to escape to warmer climates. Plus, Kansas has had a pretty mild winter so far, with temps in the 50s, 60s, and some 70s…until this week, when it has been more winter-like.

I was envious of my friends in New England getting snow while we barely had a flake. (Though I think even a snow lover like me would be saying enough at this point.) However, I know my feelings about winter are not shared by most.

My favorite part of the cruise was the food--of course. It was amazing! Lucky for us, the wonderful Magic culinary crew shared their recipes. Many upcoming posts will feature my favorite dishes from the trip.

To start, I wanted to share this Mushroom Cappuccino recipe to warm up those chilly winter nights. How good is this recipe? I normally don’t care for mushrooms, but I loved this dish. I tasted it at a cooking demonstration at the Magic's Prime Steakhouse. My eyes closed at the deliciousness, and I could hear "Mmmm" from most of the attendees, myself included.

The cappuccino aspect comes from the creamy layer that forms on top of the soup, much like its namesake espresso drink. On the ship, it was served with a garlic toast and a topping of unsweetened whipped cream.

Mushroom Cappuccino
Adapted from a recipe courtesy of the Carnival Magic Prime Steakhouse restaurant
Serves 4

2 ounces clarified butter (see note below)
5 tablespoons finely diced onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound chopped assorted mushrooms
2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pint cream
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
A few drops of truffle oil, optional
1 teaspoon chopped parsley

In a large sauce pan, saute the onions in the butter until they start to become translucent. Add the garlic, and then add the mushrooms. Pour in the stock and add the thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the mushrooms are tender.

After the mushrooms are cooked, pour the mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Then pour through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer to remove any large bits. Return the mixture to the pan and add the cream and, if using, a few drops of truffle oil. Adjust the seasonings and consistency, adding more stock if the mixture is too thick. Ladle the soup into serving dishes and top with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
Note: To clarify butter, melt butter and use only the clear yellow liquid, leaving behind the milky residue.

Disclaimer: While the crew and employees of Carnival Cruise Lines and the Magic were very hospitable and accommodating during my time on board, I paid for the trip myself. I’m not being paid by Carnival to make this or any upcoming posts with recipes from the cruise. All of the opinions and experiences are my own. 


  1. That blue water and sunshine looks especially inviting right now! What a smooth looking mushroom soup ... it does look wonderful!

  2. That cruise looks beautiful and well deserved! Also, mushroom cappuccino!? Have never heard of this before but I am seriously temped to make this. Will let you know how it turns out :)

  3. I just came back from a wonderful miracle carnival cruise and was lucky enough to see it in the cooking demonstration. I am now at home making mushroom cappuccino thanks to you! I’ll let you know how it taste.

  4. I'm not a mushroom soup fan, but I love this one. Thanks! I hope you liked it!