Sunday, March 2, 2008

homemade cream of mushroom soup

Being a child of the 80's - I was a big fan of Campbell's soup. My all-time favourite was cream of mushroom with Premium Plus crackers crumbled in it. In an effort to make meals, instead of just opening up a can, I whipped up some cream of mushroom soup that was tasty and brought back the memories of childhood, while using fresh and healthy(minus the cream I suppose!) ingredients. I also really like cooking with mushrooms, any variety, because of the hearty meatiness to them. I live with a bona fide carnivore, who prefers meat at most meals...even as vegetarian meal, this satisfied and fulfilled him!

3 shallots finely diced
3 garlic cloves finely diced
1 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
4 cups button mushrooms
1 cup oyster mushrooms
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 cups veggie broth
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
salt + ground pepper to taste

Finely dice all mushrooms. I started with my chef's knife, and quickly dropped the whole lot in my food processor, much faster!

In a large saucepan melt butter. Gently sweat the onions and garlic, do not brown or burn! Add mushrooms and pinch of salt. Stir in bay leaves and thyme. Allow mushrooms to sweat and release all their moisture - about 10 minutes.

Add veggie broth, and cream. Bring to gentle boil. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Whisk together cornstarch and water. Slowly add and stir into simmering soup. Allow to thicken for about 10 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, garnish with parsley or chives. Serve with warm bread or crackers.

Serves 4.

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