Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cream of Mushroom Soup

This recipe appeared in my local newspaper "The Hinton Voice" for my October column.  I write a monthly cooking column which is also titled "Cooking With Jax".  

[I hate mushrooms.  Or at least, I thought I did.  Ever since I was a little girl I’ve despised mushrooms in every way, shape, or form… that is except, cream of mushroom soup.  Now don’t get me wrong, I could never eat it on it’s own, just simply as soup.  I’ve always tolerated it in other recipes, like scalloped potatoes, beef stroganoff, or in a casserole.  It always had to be hidden by other things though, and never served on it’s own.  

A friend once told me that eating a mushroom was like chewing on an ear.  I have to say that’s the best description I’ve ever heard by far.  It’s not the flavour of the mushroom that I despise; it’s the rubbery, slippery, texture that always gets to me instead.  In fact, I came thisclose to aborting this recipe after feeling the slimy texture of the mushrooms while I was washing them!  I know what you’re thinking – why would I share a recipe featuring an ingredient that I hate?  Because dear readers, this is the recipe that changed the way I felt about mushrooms forever.

I’m not certain if it was the gorgeous looking portabella mushrooms staring at me from the grocery stores shelves, or the recent mushroom foraging class I took with a friend (you can never have too much zombie preparedness survival knowledge) but either way once I had it in my head that I wanted to try making mushroom soup, it was happening.  At the very least, I would use it to make stroganoff (that’s how I sold it to myself anyway).  I’m just as surprised as you are that the soup didn’t quite make it that far!  One taste to make sure the flavours were on track, and I was hooked.  I finished an entire bowl to myself and went back for seconds. If a self-proclaimed mushroom hater like me can love this soup, this recipe has got to be a keeper!]  

Recipe makes 4 servings

- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 Portobello mushrooms 
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream


In a medium saucepan preheated over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter.  Sauté onions for 1-2 minutes, then add chopped mushrooms. 

Stir in garlic, salt and pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked and onions are slightly translucent. Add chicken broth, and bring mixture to a boil.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan set to medium heat, melt remaining butter (1 tbsp), then add flour.  Cook for 30 seconds or so, and then add milk 1 cup at a time.  Whisk constantly until milk comes to a boil, then stir it intp to the mushroom/chicken broth mixture.   

Finally, stir in heavy cream.

Optional: serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh parsley to garnish.

Nutritional Info (per serving)

Calories – 250   Fat – 15    Carbs – 14     Protein - 8   Fibre – 2

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