Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Seriously Simple yet incredibly delicious.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
What You Need
3/4 cup Flour (Can Use Gluten Free)
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Butter (I like Heart Healthy)
4 cups Whole Milk (I used Skim Milk for Low Fat)
12 oz Mushrooms
1 tbsp Salt
1/2 Onion (Can Substitute 1 tsp Onion Powder) minced very thin
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Bouillon Cubes (I used Vegetable, can use any you prefer) or 1 can Stock***
**adding sliced portobellos and oyster mushrooms add texture!
*Can add nutmeg, sage, or even bay leaves for flavor changes!
***Can use Beef Stock, adds Flavor!

Finely chop the mushrooms and onions, and place into a large skillet with 1 tbsp Olive Oil (not accounted for in above list, this is an additional tbsp of oil).  Sprinkle with the garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and pinch of black pepper.  Let cook until tender and reduced in size -- you do not have to stir these too often, you are caramelizing the onions and cooking down the mushrooms.  If you are a bacon love, in place of the olive oil, use 1 tbsp Bacon Grease.  Its for the whole pot of soup, so not too unhealthy, but it will add a boost in flavor!

Start melting the butter into the olive oil.  Once combined, remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 2 minutes, then whisk in the flour.   This will make a paste like consistency aka a Roux.  This will be the velvet touch to your soup.  Let this cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Meanwhile, melt the bouillon cubes into hot water.  After the 5 minutes of heating the roux, whisk very quickly, the hot bouillon water (or heated stock) into the roux.  This will thicken immediately, but will not have clumps -- a goal.

Next, rapidly whisk this mixture as you pour the milk into the pot.  Add the 1 tbsp salt and let sit on medium low heat, stirring often.  Not stirring will cause both the milk to film and the roux to thicken the bottom portion of the soup -- making a burt crust on the bottom of the pot.  This will then add yucky clumps to the soup.  So carefully whisk at least every 5 minutes.

Once the onion mushroom mix is browned, reduced and obviously cooked down, add 1/2 cup water to pick up any flavors stuck to the bottom of the skillet and add this to the pot with the milk.  Stir, lower the heat to low, cover, and let sit.  I let this cook on low for at least 30 minutes, but you can eat it right away.  The prolonged cooking time will only infuse more flavors into the liquids.

So simple!  The entire recipe takes 15 minutes max, then let the soup sit on low to stay warm and infuse flavor.  Absolutely wonderful, low cost, and fabulous!




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