When I think of creamy mushroom soup, I think of the scary cans of cream of mushroom soup. You know the ones–you open them, turn them over, and thunk! the stuff–a sort of grayish color–flops out. It’s used as a binder for a lot of casseroles, and is a staple of mid-twentieth century cooking. But what about mushroom soup as soup? Aaaah, that’s another matter. This soup was delicious and with lots of mushroom flavor; we had it with some toasted peasant bread from the dough left in the fridge from the previous week.
This recipe is modified from one found in Deborah Madison’s classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
2 T butter
1 onion, chopped
3 pinches dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T flour
2/3 c water
10 oz button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 portabella, chopped
4 c chicken broth
1/2 c half-and-half
salt and pepper
Start by melting the butter in a nice, deep sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, and flour, cooking a minute or two; add water and cover, stewing over medium-high heat. Uncover, turn heat up a little, and add all the mushrooms. You’re going to need a big cutting board or a bowl to hold the ones already chopped–the pile is pretty big. Anyway, toss them in the pot, add a little salt and pepper, and stir about, cooking for 4-5 minutes. Then add stock, bring to a boil, scraping up the bits of browned mushroom stuck to the pot. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 20 minutes.
After the 20 minutes have passed, CAREFULLY pour into a blender, leaving the center piece out of the cover, and blend. This is also much more easily done with an immersion blender. If I had one, I would have been very happy. Instead, I was happy simply not to be scalded by my own ineptitude.
After your soup is blended, put back on the stove over very low heat and stir in cream. Voila. Delicious soup that really hits the spot.