Tuesday, January 14

Cream of Mushroom Soup


Delicious Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup.
It is indisputable that the mushroom is a strong contender for the #1 spot as a Super Food! The mushroom provides tons of health benefits and is maybe even better than most vegetables.  Mushrooms are different than vegetables because they provide nutrients in amounts not usually found in vegetables.  For instance,  a single serving of mushrooms provides more than 20% of the daily needs for six essential nutrients: riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, copper and selenium.

We cook with mushrooms a lot and really love Mushroom Soup on cold Ohio afternoons.  Most recipes
I've tried make small single serving batches and most just didn't have that strong earthy mushroom taste I love.



I toiled over and tweaked this soup until I got something I think is really delicious! I hope you think so too.
Please read to the end of the post as I've added a few tips and suggestions.

Mushroom Soup Recipe

     Ingredients:
     4 cups (2 packages) fresh mixed mushrooms
     (example: problemo, shiitake, portobello, cremini, button)
     1 tablespoon olive oil
     3 cloves fresh garlic - chopped
     2 tablespoons real butter
     2 to 3 tablespoons thyme
     2 bay leaf
     1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
     2 cans (or 2 pints homemade) chicken stock
     1/4 cup flour dissolved in ½ cup chicken broth
     1 cup heavy cream
     1 cup milk
     1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, to taste
     Course ground black, fresh parsley or thyme for garnish

Fresh mixed mushrooms

Clean and lightly chop mushrooms. 

Chop mushrooms just a little, chucks are good in soup

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add butter and lightly sauté garlic on medium heat.
Add in mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce. The smell while cooking is amazing!
Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the moisture comes out of the mushrooms and mushrooms shrink and turn dark. Do not drain, we want the mushroom liquid IN the soup.

Sauté garlic, spices and mushrooms

Add in all but a 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Stir occasionally until broth boils, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Sauté until juices are released from mushrooms and mushrooms shrink

Dilute flour into 1/2 cup of chicken broth with a whisk making a syrup like consistency paste.  Add to mushroom mixture and stir constantly (while simmering) until the mixture thickens.
Season with nutmeg to taste.
Finally, add milk and heavy cream, mixing well. 
Transfer to a crock pot, or continue to simmer on stove top.


For stove top: simmer for 2 to 3 hours to allow flavors to blend.
For crock pot: cook on high for about 1 hour then simmer on low 1 to 2 hours for flavors to blend.

Serve hot, garnished with black pepper and fresh parsley or fresh thyme.

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Hints and Suggestions:
  • Since we have goats, I substituted raw goat's milk for the heavy cream.
  • To make the soup thicker add an additional ¼ cup flour (or cornstarch)  with ½ chicken broth to form a syrup like consistency paste, then add to soup.
  • If you do not have a crock pot, just simmer on low on your stove top.
  • Stir this up the night before then simmer the next day in the crock pot for tomorrow’s dinner.
  • Organic mushrooms are best but if unavailable, just make sure to buy fresh.
  • I use my own homemade chicken broth but commercially made will work fine.
  • If you don’t already, start reading the labels of brands you purchase.  Make sure the product is made with few and basic ingredients with no added fillers, additives or high fructose corn syrup.  The better quality the ingredients, the better the soup. 
  • Leftover soup is great poured over noodles, used as gravy or baked over chicken breasts.


Hope you made it through the Arctic cold snap and are warm and safe,

Elizabeth
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One of my favorite books on mushrooms is called The Practical Mushroom Encyclopedia, by Peter Jordan & Steven Wheeler. 

It's full of great information on identifying, picking and cooking mushrooms.

This book runs around $20 bucks I think, but I picked one up at Half Priced Books for $6.99.





One of my daughter Alexis's favorite books on mushrooms is more for identification purposes.  It's called Simon & Schuster's Guide To Mushrooms. 

This book has over 400 color illustrations of mushrooms and fungi.

This one goes for about $15 bucks on Amazon, but we were lucky enough to find one at a second hand store for around $2.00.



Here's a useful chart with good information  about medicinal uses for mushrooms from the Organic Specialty Mushrooms website:


And here's a poster created by the Mushroom Council  on mushroom nutrition I found on the website Monterey Mushrooms:


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to give this a try! Thanks for the recipe. Ted

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

You're welcome Ted. I usually double the recipe to have extra for a second meal or to bake over chicken. Hope you like it!