Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup
serves 6 to 8
If you think the only use for cream of mushroom soup is as part of a green bean casserole at Thanksgiving you've got a pleasant surprise in store for you. I think you'll find this creamy, flavourful version a wake-up call for your taste buds.


6 tablespoons butter
24 ounces (3 cups)  sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, micro-planed
2 tablespoons white flour
6 1/2 cups chicken broth 
3/4 cup Madeira
1 pint half and half cream
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons chopped, fresh Italian flat leaved parsley for garnish


1.  Melt butter in (4-5 quart) sauce pan over medium heat and lightly sauté onion and garlic.  Add mushrooms and thyme and sauté for 10-15 minutes.  Add the Madeira, and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the mixture with flour, and stir to coat and cook for about 1 minute to eliminate the raw flour taste.

2.   Stir in the chicken broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for  about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard;  remove 1 cup mushrooms with a slotted spoon and reserve.    

3.  In small batches, pour remaining soup mixture into the container of a food processor; carefully purée until smooth returning each batch to saucepan as you complete the puree.  Stir in cream, the reserved sliced mushrooms adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with parsley and serve hot.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Roasted Garlic Soup

Roasted Garlic Soup
serves 8
If you think  you dislike the taste of garlic or think you know what 2 large heads of garlic would taste like cooked into a soup . . . boy are you in for a surprise!  While  raw garlic is spicy and, to the palate of some, harsh; garlic, when roasted as described, becomes very mellow and even sweet.  It adds a surprisingly pleasant,  nutty sub tone to this rich and creamy soup.  Once you try it you'll love it as much as I do.


2 large heads of garlic, whole, unpeeled
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onion, minced
1 cup carrots, minced
1 ¼ cups potato, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
¼ cup heavy cream


1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.

2.  Prepare the heads of garlic for roasting by cutting the top off each garlic head so that the tip of each clove is exposed. Place the garlic heads on a large piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Fold the foil to form a packet. Place the packet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Cool slightly.

3.  Remove the garlic heads from the foil packets and squeeze the cloves into a small bowl. Discard outer husks.

4.  Heat the remaining olive oil and the butter in a large heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat, add the onions, and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.

5.  Add the carrots and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, add the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the potato cubes, chicken stock, white wine, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook for 35 minutes.

6.  Allow the soup to cool slightly and add the cooled soup to the container of a blender and purée the soup (in small batches if necessary) until smooth.

7.  Return the pureed soup to the saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Heat until warmed, Do not boil.

8.   Serve immediately.

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