Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rich and Rustic Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Don’t confuse this wonderful adventure in soup making with the canned condensed version on the grocery shelves….it is not even close.  This is a rich soup with a robust and rustic nutty flavor that can hold its own as the main course of a meal.

·         5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
·         1 1/2 cups chicken broth
·         1 tablespoon fresh thyme finely chopped (you can use dried if you prefer but it won’t have the same fresh flavor – if using dried herb, adjust to ¼ teaspoon)
·         3 tablespoons butter
·         3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
·         1/4 teaspoon coarse ground sea salt
·         1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
·         1 cup half-and-half
·         1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
·         1 tablespoon sherry
·         Optional 1 teaspoon sour cream for garnish

from the grocery store, you can purchase the standard white button mushrooms, or by selecting another variety you can change the overall flavor of your soup.

I prefer to sauté my mushrooms before beginning the soup making process to bring out more of the rustic nutty flavor.
1.   In a large heavy skillet melt about 1 tablespoon of butter until it just begins to foam and then quickly add your mushrooms.  Sauté mushrooms with fresh thyme until tender and slightly browned - about 8 to 10 minutes. Take care to move your mushrooms gently around the skillet to avoid them breaking apart and losing all of their moisture.

there are several varieties of Thyme, I prefer the broad leaf  for this recipe.

2.   In blender or food processor, blend the mushrooms and the remaining 1½ cups of broth until almost smooth, leaving some chunks. Set aside. (You may puree until smooth if you prefer.  I like to leave some bits of mushroom in mine for texture.)

3.   In a heavy saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, whisk in the flour until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, half and half, Worcestershire, and mushroom puree. Stirring constantly, bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to low/medium and continue to cook until thickened – about 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Add sherry just before removing from heat.

Prep time:  20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves:      6 – 8

Serve this rich soup with a fresh Caesar Salad, crusty bread and a fruit and cheese plate for a delightful winter dinner.

fresh romaine (I use organic hearts of romaine), homemade crusty croutons, and fresh grated Parmesan are key to the start of a great Caesar Salad finish it off with your favorite Caesar dressing.

awesome pantry from

Before beginning any new recipe, check your Pantry to be sure you have all of the ingredients on hand....

Pantry List
ü  1 quart fresh mushrooms
ü  Chicken broth – 1 lg can or 2 small cans
ü  One bunch of fresh thyme
ü  1 pint Half and Half
ü  1 stick of butter
ü  All purpose flour
ü  Sea Salt
ü  Black Pepper
ü  Worcestershire Sauce
ü  Sherry (optional)

    Kitchen Tool List
    ü  Cutting board
    ü  Slicing knife
    ü  Measuring Spoons
    ü  Measuring Cups
    ü  Large heavy skillet
    ü  Spatula
    ü  Blender or Food Processor
    ü  Large heavy sauce pan
    ü  Whisk
    ü  Large spoon
    ü  Soup ladle

      Left over soup is not likely with this tasty recipe, however if there is, consider making homemade scalloped potatoes for tomorrow’s dinner!