By Vida Gustafson
Cream of Mushroom soup is an absolute must for comfort on a cold winter night. Earthy and savory, perfectly accented with a hint of garlic and thyme. This is one of those “it’s classic for a reason” recipes. Once you factor in the good dose of vitamin D, potassium, zinc, selenium and protein, it’s easy to see that this is a recipe that should make it into your monthly rotation.
- 2 lbs fresh mushrooms, wiped clean. (or 6-8 oz dried)
- 1 qt chicken stock
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 C cream
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Salt and Pepper to taste
If using whole mushrooms, cut into half slices. If using dried, reconstitute them in enough hot water to cover completely, let them sit for 10 minutes and drain, squeezing them gently to remove excess water. Reserve the liquid for cooking, you can add it to your stock to make up one quart. You can also save this for a risotto or different soup.
Melt butter in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the mushrooms, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper and the thyme leaves. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned slightly and the water has evaporated. This can take up to 30 minutes. Remove some browned mushrooms for garnish at the end. Add roughly chopped onion and whole peeled garlic and cook for 5 minutes more, then add in one last tablespoon of butter and the flour. Mix thoroughly and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in your chicken stock. Scrape the bottom of the pot to ensure nothing is sticking and getting overcooked. Cover the pot and turn the hear down to the lowest setting and leave to cook for 1 hour.
Use a handheld immersion blender to blend until the soup is smooth and then add the cream.
If you’re using a blender or food processor to blend the soup, process one cup at a time only and cover the lid of the blender with a heavy kitchen towel. The heat and pressure can push the top off of the blender and you can get burned or at the very least have a big mess to clean up.
Lastly, season to taste and garnish with the browned mushroom slices and some parsley. Don’t forget the crusty toasted bread!