Fresh Mushroom Soup
Canned mushroom soup was one of those staples, both when I was growing up and also when my kids were little. It was good enough, and, I guess you could say I didn’t know any better. But then one day, I started watching cooking shows on TV, and that opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me! Somebody made a mushroom soup one day on one of those shows, I tried it and liked it, and every once in a while I get a hankering for homemade mushroom soup. However, it wasn’t until recently that I found a recipe that I really liked enough to save so that I could make it again. And of course, to share in my recipe site. This recipe will spoil you. Once you have tasted this soup, you will never want to go back to the canned stuff again!
Whenever I make soup, I always start out the same way. Saute two medium sized chopped onions in a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large frypan till soft and just starting to brown. Add 2 cloves of garlic and stir. Add to soup pot.
Melt another 2 Tbsp butter (or hard margarine), and saute your mushrooms. I bought Cremini mushrooms this time, because they have a little more flavour than the white mushrooms, and I knew I would be using them for soup. I also saved some time by buying the pre-sliced mushrooms. Mushrooms will soak up an almost unlimited amount of oil when you are cooking them, so don’t be alarmed with the fat disappears from the pan. Just toss them around in the pan to brown them up a bit before putting them into your soup pot.
Mushroom soup tastes best when cooked with some or all beef broth. This time I used a combination of beef broth and water with chicken bouillon (3 cups of each), and was happy with the result. Add the broths to the soup pot along with dried rosemary (crush it first) thyme, and pepper. Add no more than about 1/2 tsp salt at this point, then you can wait till the end before tasting to see if it needs any more salt. Bring to a boil, cover, turn down and simmer for about 1 hour.
About 10 minutes before the hour is up, you will make the white sauce. Melt the last 2 Tbsp butter in the frying pan. Sprinkle flour over the butter, and stir to combine. Pour the cream into the pan slowly while stirring, or whisking to break up all lumps. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until it starts to bubble. It will be thick. Using a ladle, add a ladleful of the broth and mushrooms to the cream sauce, and keep stirring. Once it is thickened and bubbly, carefully pour the cream sauce into the soup pot.
Using a hand (stick) blender is the easiest way to blend soups right in the pot. Blend to the desired consistency. I like to leave some lumps so that you know there are real mushrooms in there. You may even want to remove a few mushroom slices before blending, then add back when you are finished blending, so that you have whole mushroom slices in the soup. It’s all a matter of preference and presentation, as it tastes the same either way.
Taste and if needed, you can add a little more salt. Yummy, right?
Home made soup always tastes so much better than canned. Thick, with a rich mushroom flavor, the mushroom lovers will really go crazy for this soup. Buy a 454g package (1 lb) of sliced mushrooms at a big box store when they are cheap. The rest is easy.
- 6 Tbsp butter or hard margarine
- 2 onions, diced (or you can use 2 leeks, whites and some green)
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely diced
- 1 pound (454g) mushrooms - cremini or brown mushrooms are the most flavorful
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ to 1 tsp salt (depending on the saltiness of your broth)
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried rosemary leaves, crushed with a mortar & pestle
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 ½ cups light cream or half & half
- Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large frying pan, and saute onions until they are tender.
- Add the garlic, cook and stir for one minute or until you can smell the garlic cooking. Transfer cooked onions and garlic to large soup pot.
- Melt another 2 Tbsp butter in the frying pan and saute the sliced mushrooms until they are wilted and browned. While they are cooking, add the salt and pepper, and the thyme and rosemary. Start with ½ tsp salt and then you can add more at the end if needed. Transfer the cooked mushrooms to the soup pot.
- Add both broths to the soup pot, bring to boil, then cover, turn down and simmer for one hour.
- About 10 minutes before the hour is up, you will make the white sauce. Melt the last 2 Tbsp butter in the frying pan. Sprinkle flour over the butter, and stir to combine. Pour the cream into the pan slowly while stirring, or whisking to break up all lumps. Cook on med, stirring constantly until it starts to bubble. It will be thick. Using a ladle, add a ladleful of the broth and mushrooms to the cream sauce, and keep stirring. Once it is thickened and bubbly, carefully pour the cream sauce into the soup pot.
- Using an immersible hand blender, blend the soup to whatever consistency you desire. The more you blend it, the thicker it will be.
It’s nice to partially blend while leaving a few mushroom slices whole so that people can identify what kind of soup they are eating. Or you can garnish each bowl with the few sliced fresh mushrooms.