This mushroom soup is to die for!
I absolutely love cream of mushroom soup, but I’d only ever made it one other time, in the past, because half of my family doesn’t like mushrooms.
This recipe is extra flavourful because I used a variety of mushrooms that helped elevate the flavour… and the wine didn’t hurt either :-). This soup includes cremini, portabello, shitaki, and oyster mushrooms.
How is this mushroom soup so creamy?
The first step is to cook the mushrooms down with onions, garlic, wine and aromatics. It’s important not to introduce salt until later in the process. If you add salt at the beginning, it’ll suck all the water out of the mushrooms and make them a bit rubbery. I added salt at the same time as I added broth.
Next is the blending. Blending the mushrooms is key to achieving the smooth texture and creaminess. Ideally, use a high-powered food processor or blender to get the best results. Don’t worry though, if you don’t have a high-powered tool, you can use any food processor, stand blender or hand blender and also achieve very good results.
Finally it’s about the cream. I added cream right near the end and cooked the soup for just another 5 minutes before it was ready to eat.
Mushrooms. Love ‘em or not-so-much?
Our eldest son, Michael, loves mushrooms. Our youngest won’t touch them. Liz doesn’t like the texture, but likes food flavoured with mushrooms, or something like a mushroom sauce over a steak, for instance. She politely moves mushrooms aside or passes them to me or Michael to enjoy.
Having said that, I never expected Liz to enjoy a bowl of this soup. But I was wrong. She wasn’t even offended by its grey-ish colour. In fact, she whipped through a bowl pretty quickly and commented on how delicious it was. So… that was a nice surprise.
Our little guy still wouldn’t try it, but then again, Michael used to turn his nose up at mushrooms when he was the same age, and now he’s the first to put up his hand when Liz is looking to ‘share’ any mushrooms from her plate.
We eat with our eyes. That’s why people are drawn to follow food bloggers that post gorgeous images on Pinterest and Instagram. But who hasn’t heard of those famous Pinterest fails; where you try to recreate something beautiful from Pinterest, only to achieve a very different result?
So, Liz and I could have tried to shoot or edit this photo to make the soup look less, well… grey. However, when we started this blog, we agreed that we’d only post food we enjoyed, and we would be honest in every way.
Sure, there’s a place for food styling. The cover or spread of a food magazine, for instance, may require a little tweaking and fudging. That’s normal for the situation where a shoot can take many hours and the food has to look better than perfect.
That’s not us!
But we’re not glossy-cover magazine kind of bloggers. So, as you can see… this soup is on the grey-ish side. And yes, that’s real. Of course, Liz still aimed to compose a beautiful scene and capture the emotion and earthy essence of this soup’s deliciousness. In my opinion, I think Liz was successful in her goal.
We will stay true to who we are, and our food will always speak its truth too. What you see is what you get when you make our meals. It’s Pinterest “nailed-it” worthy.
A year of opportunities and possibilities
2020 is off to a great start. While we’re not big on creating new year’s resolutions, we do like to look ahead at the new year with a sense of freshness and possibility.
This year we’re thinking about the environment and our part in it. Our earth is overdue for some TLC and we have been feeling guilty about our impact on this planet.
We’re not going to make any big promises about changing the world, but we are going to look at what little things we can do to be a little kinder to it. And when one change becomes second-nature, we’ll make another positive change. That way, there’s a better chance that we’ll stick with it, and over time, all the little changes will make a big difference.
We’re starting with a focus on reducing food-waste. I love to cook, try new meals, and make a new meal every day. Sometimes we end up with a lot of left-overs in the fridge and every new meal I make means older food is getting pushed further back in the fridge, and ultimately being forgotten. We tend to waste more than we should.
Making new meals from left-overs
While I still prefer not to eat the same meal for two or three nights in a row, what I’ve started to do is convert the old into something new. It’s up-cycling for my fridge. So, yesterday’s pork chops will be tonight’s stir-fry. And, yes, that big pot of tomato sauce will be used in a pasta dish, but it will also be used in one or two other non-pasta dishes.
It’s not that we’ve never done that before, and it’s not new to anyone. But for me, it requires more of a concerted effort to plan and it requires restraint at the grocery store, not to be tempted to buy more than I need, before I’ve used up what I already have.
We’re doing well so far, and it feels good. We’re saving money too, without sacrificing anything. That’s two wins for 2020 already. We’ll post some of our meal up-cycling moments on Instagram stories so you can see what we’re up to throughout the year.
Make today yummy
What are your little or big goals for today? For the year? Whatever they are, we’re over here, rooting for your success. Let us know what you’re working on and how you’re doing in the comments below.
We’ll keep plugging away, day-by-day, on our little goals. We’re going to keep making meals and treats we love and sharing them with you. Nice things like that should be shared.
Make today yummy.
- 1/2 cup butter 1 stick
- 5 cloves garlic sliced thin
- 1 medium cooking onion sliced thin
- 3 lbs mushrooms 1 lb cremini, 1 lbs portabello, 1/2 lbs shitaki, 1/2 lbs oyster, coursely chopped
- 5 thyme sprigs tied with kitchen string
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
Heat the butter in a large dutch oven or heavy pot (at least 6 quart), on medium heat.
Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. About 6 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes (stir to avoid letting the onions and garlic burn).
Add the mushrooms, stir and cover. Uncover and stir occasionally until the mushrooms are tender, but not rubbery. At the beginning the pot will look full, but they’ll reduce in size as they cook.
Add the wine and thyme and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes. Continue to stir.
Optional: Remove about 1/4 cup of mushroom pieces, and set aside. These can be used later for plating.
Add the broth, salt and pepper to the mushrooms, stir, raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove the sprigs of thyme.
Let the soup mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
Use a food processor or high-powered blender (see notes below) to puree the soup in batches until it's all pureed and add the soup back in to the pot. Make sure to hold down the lid while blending. Note, the soup is quite hot, so handle carfully and never fill the food processor or blender to the top. Make sure to puree in small batches.
Add the cream, stir, bring to a boil, reduce the temperature and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes.
Serve the soup hot with a few mushroom pieces on top.
You can use just one or two types of mushrooms if you like.
You can use half & half cream (10% fat) if you want to cut down on the fat, but heavy cream makes a richer soup.
Don’t add the salt into the mushrooms when you start cooking them. It’ll draw out too much water.
If you don’t have large pot, make half the batch but using only half of the ingredients.
If you prefer, puree the soup using a hand blender. It may come out a little less smooth and creamy, but it’ll still taste great.