I haven’t blogged in a while, although I have been cooking as much as usual. I sometimes find it hard to decide what to blog about. This weekend I cooked: olive oil poached salmon with lemon wild rice and strawberry goat cheese spinach salad, lamb curry, cream of mushroom soup, strawberry rhubarb pie, apricot bars, canned strawberry jam and dill pickles. I’m only blogging about the soup, though, not because it is the best of the lot but because I was calm, organized, had the kitchen relatively cleared out and had my phone handy for shooting photos. 99.9% of the time, I just can’t get it together on top of the actual cooking.
When I was little, Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom was my favorite thing in the world. I don’t really get as much joy out of it now but a more grown up, real food version is the most comforting thing I can think of.
This is a soup I’ve been making for years. I don’t really have a recipe because I make it a little differently every time and just kind of play it by ear but the essentials are always the same. It’s pretty simple and very rich. I bought some tree oyster and king trumpet mushrooms at the farmers market and an additional 2 boxes of criminis to add variety and texture. I like to use at least 3 varieties of mushroom to this and it changes with what I find but really, it would be just fine with plain old buttons. I love all mushrooms. I started by chopping a big yellow onion and 3 cloves of garlic and sautéing it in butter & olive oil with some nutmeg, a few bay leaves and a lot of pepper. Then I chopped up the mushrooms. I like a rough, uneven chop so there are giant hunks and tiny bits. I enjoy the variety of textures. I toss those in the pot with more butter and pepper. With this many mushrooms in the pot they are not going to brown at all. They are so crowded they are really steaming, not sautéing. That’s fine, just keep cooking them till most of the moisture has evaporated and they are looking tasty. Have I mentioned how much I love my pepper grinder? It’ s an Atlas copper pepper mill and it’s the best one I’ve ever had. I’ve gone through a ton of them and they’ve all let me down but this one is dreamy. I added thyme, sage, a little dill, more nutmeg and more pepper. (Note – If you want to get nicely browned mushrooms, cook them a little at a time in a single layer and just kind of leave them alone till they brown – don’t salt them till they are done as that will make them release their moisture and steam) Now, add stock. I used my canned chicken stock but veggie or bullion or whatever would work too. I let that cook down for about 20 minutes then added some salt and a splash of soy sauce. Then I made a roux from butter and flour and cooked it till it was toasty brown and the flour looked cooked. I added it to the soup and poured in some heavy cream. You can use milk or half & half in this and it will be great, I just happened to have a lot of cream handy. I then buzzed it with my immersion blender very quickly. I didn’t want to puree all the chunks, just thicken and smooth it out a bit. I let it cook about 5 minutes more, tasting and adjusting the seasoning till it was perfect. It was damn good. Hubby said it was the best batch yet.
- Mushroom Soup (angsarap.net)
- Beefy Mushroom Soup (chronicinthekitchen.com)
- Mushroom Soup (trinityscopperkitchen.wordpress.com)