If you’ve been around here at all, you know I love me a nourishing bowl of soup. It’s just so comforting when the thermometer’s falling, and something light, when a heavy meal is just too much for a warm day. My df girl is all in. She also enjoys soup, but then again, she’s totally about the comfort food (see here). Light, broth-based soups are not my Love’s jam, but he tolerates a creamy soup or a thick, stew-like soup. I usually round out a soup meal with a yummy loaf of home-made bread, or–one of our favourites–easiest ever rolls–for the sake of my carb-loving boy, but sometimes I opt for a side salad or raw veggies.
I rarely (if ever, anymore) heat a can of prepared soup. While convenient, they don’t sit well with me, they contain lots of unnecessary additives and, really, homemade soups generally taste better. I can control the salt, and I make a big pot to last for a few meals. It’s wonderful having serving sized portions in the freezer that I can throw in a pot for lunch–just as easy as opening a can!
I had a hankering for a rich, creamy bowl of homemade mushroom soup. A package of cremini mushrooms that were well-priced needed to be used up, and so, in a half hour (or less), we were slurping some pretty tasty soup!
You could also keep this on the thicker side to use as a sauce for pasta or to spoon on a baked potato.
First off, clean your mushrooms. I confess, I do clean them with water and rub off any dirt. I know. A no-no. I had cremini and a few white button mushrooms. You can use whatever you have on hand. I like a meatier mushroom like cremini (also known as baby bella). Apparently, these and portabellos are all the same variety, just different stages of maturity. Who knew? I really like that the creminis are darker. They give a rich colour and earthy flavour to the soup. By all means, use any combination you like. You’ll need about a pound.
Next, you’ll dice an onion (again, use what you have) and mince a few cloves of garlic. We like a lot of garlic, so I used three large cloves. You’ll sauté these in a little oil until they’re nice and soft. I like them slightly caramelized.
While these are filling your house with a delicious aroma, prepare your mushrooms. I like to roughly chop some, and slice some for a little variety in texture. Throw them in the pot with the onions and garlic. Let them get all nice and browned. Toss in a bit of dried thyme. I used about half a teaspoon. Don’t use salt until after they’ve browned, otherwise, they will steam more than brown. We want lots of colour!
When this is significantly reduced in volume, add 2-3 tablespoons of butter and some salt and pepper.
Sprinkle an equal amount of flour (2-3 tablespoons) to make a roux. Let it cook for a minute to get toasty. Pour in a cup or two of vegetable stock (Use whatever you have handy, the amount is not critical as you will also add milk or cream. To keep fat down, use the larger amount of stock.) Mix until smooth and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
Add cream or milk until desired consistency. If you wanted to use this for a sauce, you would leave it fairly thick. Adjust salt and pepper if necessary. You could add a splash of hot sauce or Worcestershire now as well, if you’d like. While I like these sauces, I like this soup without these additions.
Dish it up and enjoy!
Creamy Mushroom Soup
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
Cook on medium in a tablespoon of oil for about 5 minutes.
1 pound cremini mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Cook for another 5 minutes until mushrooms are nicely browned.
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons of butter
2-3 tablespoons of flour
Stir together to form a paste. Cook for a couple of minutes.
1 cup of vegetable (or other kind) stock (homemade, or prepared…mine was low sodium)
Mix until smooth and liquid is well incorporated. Add another cup of stock if necessary. (I added another.). Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or so.
1 cup cream
Add more cream, if your soup is still too thick for your liking.
Serve topped with croutons, if desired, or shredded cheese.
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