Saturday, 28 June 2014

Cream of Mushroom Soup

White button mushrooms 
Canned cream of mushroom soup is a bad representative of the dish. It's overly salted and not very tasty. Here's a better version.

Homemade cream of mushroom soup is an easy to make, quick, gourmet treat. You can use any type of mushroom -- white button, cremini, portabella, or a mixture of them. You can also add some of the more exotic mushrooms that are occasionally available in our stores. Dried mushrooms can also be added but hydrate them first. Sometimes the refreshed mushrooms are very tough and it's really just the soaking water we want to use. Dried chrysanthemum or shitake mushrooms are often like this. So dehydrate separately and only add the mushroom "meat" if it's tender enough. 


·         3 tablespoons butter
·         5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
·         1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
·         1/2 cup chopped onion
·         1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
·         1 large baking potato, peeled and grated
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
·         1 cup light cream or milk
·         1 tablespoon sherry (Optional)


1.                   If using portabella mushrooms, use the side of a spoon to scrape out the gills underneath the mushroom. These mushroom spores are very dark in colour and will make your soup an unappetizing grey colour. If using any dried mushrooms, soak in a small amount of boiling water to rehydrate. Reserve that water for the soup pot – it’s full of flavour.

2.                   In a large heavy saucepan, heat the butter until bubbling. Add the onion and mushrooms and sautĂ© until the mushrooms release their liquid (about 10 minutes).

3.                   Add grated potato and enough broth (and mushroom water from dried mushrooms if using) to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook about 10 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are done and their starch has made the broth thick.

4.                   Remove some of the mushroom/onion/potato from the pot and set aside. Using either an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the remaining soup. If you’re using a regular blender, be careful to work in small batches and make sure you hold the lid on tight while blending. Return the reserved mushroom/onion mixture to the pot. Recipe can be refrigerated at this point for 3 days and rewarmed. Additionally, it can be frozen in Mason jars (leave at least 1-1/2 inches of head room in the jar) for 6 months. Defrost overnight in refrigerator before rewarming and continuing to step 5. 

5.                   Add the salt, pepper, thyme, milk or cream.. Stirring constantly, bring soup to a hot temperature without boiling. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add sherry if using it.

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