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.  

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