cooking with patricia wells – a new video

by Sharon Santoni

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend time with Patricia Wells at her cooking school in St Germain in  Paris.   She welcomed me in with a camera and she showed me how to make her ‘magic  mushroom soup’, a wonderful recipe from her new book called My Master Recipes that is released at the beginning of March, and is already available on pre-sales master recipes cookbook by patricial wellsPatricia is great fun, she is lively and passionate about her work and her food, and I really enjoyed our day together, and the opportunity to experience her cooking class first hand.  She first came to Paris as a journalist for the International Herald Tribune, and has lived here full time since 1980, which is about as long as me since that’s the year before I first came to France as a student.

She and her husband Walter bought their property Chanteduc in Provence in 1984, and since then they have shared their time between Paris and the South.  She has been running cooking classes for many years and this new book will be her 16th title on the shelves!  Sixteen books is not a small achievement!

table laid for lunch at patricia wells cooking school

I thought you’d enjoy seeing some of our cooking in this little video.   I was amazed at how easy her Mushroom soup recipe was, and I’ve made it at home since then, always greatly appreciated by all.  I love her down to earth way of doing things, which is no doubt what has made her cookbooks and restaurant reviews so successful.If you’d like to know more about her classes in Paris or in the South of France, you can see the details here.

On another note, I need a helping hand please.   It seems that some people are still experiencing problems leaving comments on the blog.   If this happens for you, would you mind just taking a minute and sending me an email here, just to let me know what isn’t working, and whether you are reading the blog on a computer, a phone or an ipad.   Merci beaucoup.


Erin N. Houghton February 25, 2017 - 9:16 pm

Thank you for sharing your delightful video and delicious and easy recipe.

Babs Stilley February 25, 2017 - 9:20 pm

Love your blogs!

Jeanine scott February 25, 2017 - 9:23 pm

Thank you Sharon. Lovely video and that soup must have been wonderful.

Madge Baird February 25, 2017 - 9:27 pm

Hi Sharon,
I really enjoyed your visit with Patricia Wells. I had made my own version of mushroom soup this morning, before seeing your video, and mine was much more complex. I was thrilled to see how easy it can be and will try Patricia’s method next time. Mushrooms on buttered bread—what a delicious accompaniment. Thanks for the idea.

Maryanne February 25, 2017 - 9:29 pm

Love how simple the soup is to make. I look forward to Patricia’s new book. Keep the videos coming, they’re great fun.

Our French Oasis February 25, 2017 - 9:31 pm

Cream of mushroom soup is one of my all time favourites, but it is also something I have slightly shied away from making thinking it was rather complicated. This video is perfect, guess what I will be making next week! Thank you so much.

RICHARD BRAVERMAN February 25, 2017 - 9:37 pm

Problems? None for me. Just discovered your blog, thanks to my wife. Enjoyed your magic mushroom soup visit with Patricia Wells, a favorite of mine for many years. Well done, Ms. Santori!

Debbie Spence February 25, 2017 - 9:37 pm

Looks so very yummy; too bad I’m allergic to mushrooms.

Joanne February 25, 2017 - 10:33 pm

I loved seeing you cooking with Patricia Wells! What a delight!!!

Alina February 25, 2017 - 10:51 pm

Such a great way of using dried mushrooms!

Karen Weaver February 25, 2017 - 11:02 pm

I enjoyed cooking with Patricia Wells. I will it many times. I am new to your blog and Iike it very much!

Pat February 25, 2017 - 11:26 pm

Looks delicious, and so simple to prepare.

Dottie February 25, 2017 - 11:45 pm

How lovely! I am going to try this recipe.

Denise Altland February 25, 2017 - 11:55 pm

Sharon, It looks deliciuos! Cant wait to buy the book. Her kitchen looks wonderful.
Thank you.
Can you share the recipe.

Colleen Taylor February 26, 2017 - 12:09 am

This looks like a fabulous soup Sharon. Can’t wait to see her new book. I love that kitchen, love the video even more. Could you tell me what is the name of the guitar music on your video? I love it! X

Vicky from Athens February 26, 2017 - 12:33 am

Watching the video made me so hungry. The soup looked delicious and who’d have thought of putting sliced mushrooms on buttered bread. I love it when you pass recipes along to us! Thanks for sharing!

Barbara Novello February 26, 2017 - 12:38 am

Loved the video and also look forward to every blog you send!

Jenny February 26, 2017 - 12:49 am

Thank you for sharing this video! I love mushroom soup and I look forward to making them soon. The mushrooms on a buttered bread is interesting . I am wondering what the supplementary ingredient in the compound butter is. And oh, the kitchen looks beautiful !!!

Leslie in Little Rock February 26, 2017 - 1:31 am

Hum!!!!!!!!! Also, I love your blonde (-;

Pamela LePage February 26, 2017 - 2:44 am

The soup looked so yummy. I am looking forward to buy her cookbook.

david terry February 26, 2017 - 3:01 am

Oh… Patricia Wells?….I first became aware of her work about fifteen years ago, and I subsequently learned more of her reputation/books through French friends.

I may be incorrect, but I believe she was the first native anglophone who was commissioned to write restaurant/food reviews for a major French newspaper? Whatever the specifics of the matter are or were, her CV is mighty impressive.

More to the point, though?….I introduced myself to her a few years ago, when she was at a bookstore (promoting her book “Salad as a Meal”) in Durham, North Carolina of all places. Only later did I learn that her sister actually lives there (as I did for 29 years), which would explain why Wells was in the area at all).

As I reminded her at the book reading?… of the wittiest lines I’ve ever read was written by her. She bought Julia Child’s stove when La Pitchoune was sold……Wells wrote that this was like buying Freud’s couch.

And THAT is a funny/very witty statement.

to conclude (and, obviously, I’m a great fan of Wells’s work)?……I entertain a lot here….and, like every other constant-cook, I have my war-horses. One of the two or three things that everyone LOVES, every single time, is Patricia Wells’s lemon ricotta terrine” (from the “Salad as A Meal” cookbook). folks LOVE that terrine. Don’t ask me why….all I know is that it works wonders on folks and makes them happy.

Oh….another of my chronic go-to recipes is Wells’s recipe for lentil/walnut/mint salad. folks LOVE (and, yes, I know I keep hitting shift-caps) this….and it’s the perfect dish when you know that vegetarians/lactose-intolerant guests are coming.

Well…I think Wells is one of the 2 or 3 (at most) best and most useful (that’s a compliment) cookbook writers going these days.


David Terry

david terry February 26, 2017 - 3:16 am

P.S. Perhaps I should emphasize that the best thing about Wells’s recipes are that (as with the “magic mushroom soup” shown in this video), while they insist upon using the right stuff rather than silly substitutes or”Short-cuts”, they ARE wonderful and reliable…….you can’t go wrong if you follow her directions, which are invariably direct and helpful.

For at least ten years, I’ve been surprised (as my guests have been)…thinking “Oh, it’s so simple, but I would NEVER have thought of that combination”.

And that, for me, is the definition of real genius, in the kitchen or otherwise.

Wells has got it.

And isn’t it nice to have the internet as a means of, for once, spreading good news rather than nasty news?……


david terry

Stacey Snacks February 26, 2017 - 4:44 am

Magic Mushrooms w/ Madame Sharon & Chef Wells!
I’m in!

Lillian Plummer February 26, 2017 - 5:10 am

So enjoyed the cooking demonstration. Simple, easy and tasty. Loving your videos.

Taste of France February 26, 2017 - 8:12 am

Patricia and Walter are lovely people. I have several of her books, and the recipes are easy to follow, interesting and, most importantly, delicious.
Thank you for this video!

Kathryn Gauci February 26, 2017 - 2:03 pm

I don’t comment too often but I always read and enjoy everything you put up. So inspirational.
I carried Patricia Wells book “The Food Lover’s Guide to France” through France quire a few years ago and ate and shopped in some of the most memorable places.

Janet - Shabbyfufu February 26, 2017 - 5:36 pm

This looks delicious and simple, which is how I love to cook!

Jane February 26, 2017 - 11:17 pm

This looks so good! lovely video x

Lynne February 27, 2017 - 12:46 am

Such a wonderful treat, Sharon! I love the concept of the mushroom powder! Patricia’s book ” The French Kitchen Cookbook” taught me to add shakers of vanilla sugar, powdered sugar, cornmeal and flour to my kitchen counter!

She is brilliant!
. . . and so are you for bringing us into her kitchen!

Melinda February 27, 2017 - 3:54 pm

Cannot wait to try this:) Sharing with my mom. Thank you to you both!

Leslie Anne Lord February 28, 2017 - 2:53 am

Oh that soup looks delicious!
I took a cooking class when I was in Paris, had I known about Patricia Wells cooking school then I would have booked with her…perhaps next time!

Jeanne February 28, 2017 - 8:57 am

Oh this is perfect. Not daunting at all and since we are avid Porcini foragers, there are always several jars of dried wild mushrooms in our cupboard. I can’t wait for winter! Thank you Sharon and thank you Patricia for sharing this cameo with us <3

Dorka February 28, 2017 - 1:14 pm

Oh Dear,a cook in Hungary would never make a soup like this. We always begin with chopped onions sauted in oil or fat and put the mushrooms (or any other vegetable) also diced or simply cut in slices and let it fry until soft.This take not ore then 5-8 minutes.Only after this would pour water or bouillon on it. We would mostly fry meat or sliced lard first and then put the vegetable on it.Sorry but the shown video is not our taste.
Dorka from the Plain

Pat February 28, 2017 - 1:39 pm

Love Patricia Wells cookbooks…great idea to grind the dried mushrooms!! I will be using this one, thanks and YUM!!

Blanca Martinez February 28, 2017 - 5:07 pm

Hi Sharon,
Loved the video, great simple recipe that I will try to make.
It’s always nice to see you in a video, you a fine lady.
I’m writing to you through my IPhone and didn’t have any problems sending my message to you,

DDU March 2, 2017 - 3:44 pm

Sharon, I made this simple — and simply delicious! — soup and have added it to my recipe favorites. I infused the porcini powder into the cream only three hours before I made the soup, but the subtle and unmistakably earthy flavor still bloomed. I also made a quick two-hour chicken stock of leg quarters/wings and veggies/aromatics in honor of Patricia Wells’ penchant for the best, freshest ingredients. I hope she would approve! In addition to the amazing flavor, the soup stayed creamy white; you know how mushroom soups often take on that unappealing dead grey look? This soup was beautiful in the bowls, topped with sprinkles of fresh chives and cracks of white pepper. We had smaller servings of the soup the following evening, reheating it slowly and carefully. It was divine. Thank you, Sharon and Patricia! Magnifique!! Best wishes.

Sally March 5, 2017 - 5:42 pm

Loved the video, and Patricia Wells. You simply can’t go wrong with her recipes. Looking forward to making this soup and buying her new cookbook.

The Enchanted Home March 6, 2017 - 7:37 pm

One of my culinary heros!! You lucky lady you. I have many of her books and find her totally fascinating. I woudl love to cook with her under her amazing eye one day!!

Sidenote- sending you an email but your French Box is A M A Z I N G!!!! I so loved getting it, it was so beautifully presented and I loved the smells even before I unwrapped it. Total genius!!

Susan March 6, 2017 - 8:54 pm

Love the video and mushroom soup! Who knew this was so easy to prepare?!?

Debe L March 11, 2017 - 9:37 pm

Looks delicious but is there no copy of the actual recipe?? Need to just make notes as she speaks!

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