As the days get cooler and cooler every day, my thoughts are turning again to soup. To get soup season started, I thought I’d do “Seven Days of Soup”, with a new soup recipe every day.
Day 5: I grew up on Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup but clearly my tastes have matured because it’s just not cutting it for me anymore. Homemade Cream of Mushroom soup is one of the easiest to make and is just so yummy. Experiment with the wide variety of mushrooms that are available these days, including some of the great dried ones that can be re-hydrated and added to this recipe (To re-hydrate dried mushrooms, simply soak in enough warm water to cover for about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Add a bit of the soaking liquid into the soup in place of chicken stock).
I never make this with heavy cream. It’s just too much guilt for me :) I use mostly half and half (10%) cream topped up with 1% milk. Pureeing a bit of the soup and adding back in helps to thicken it up and make up for the heavy cream.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Summary: This soup cooks up quickly. You can use a variety of mushrooms or your favourite.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup yellow onions, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced (optional)
- 20 oz. mushrooms (button or mixture of button, cremini, oyster etc), cleaned and sliced
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or 10% cream or whole milk for a lighter soup)
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms start to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 45 seconds to a minute. Add the stock and stir while returning to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- *If you like your soup with whole mushroom pieces in it, as I do, skip this step. Your can also just remove a bit to puree and leave the rest with whole mushrooms, which is also nice).
- Remove from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor.
- Add the cream or milk, return to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning, to taste.
Number of servings (yield): 4