creamy mushroom soup

For a few years now, I’ve been a big fan of the blog Smitten Kitchen. Deb’s photos and food are absolutely stunning, and her posts are really engaging. What’s not to love?

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She originally posted this recipe for cream of mushroom soup way back in 2007. I’ve had it bookmarked for what seems like ages, and I finally got a chance to make it! I know right now in AZ it’s not exactly soup weather, but depending on where you are in the US, it still feels very much like winter. So, if you’re looking for something to take the chill away, or if you’re just looking for a simple and tasty lunch or dinner idea, you’ve come to the right place!

I modified this recipe much like Deb said she did, along with a few changes of my own. Feel free to substitute vegetable stock for the beef broth and boom! you’ve got a vegetarian version of this delicious, creamy soup. Sub soy milk for the heavy cream and omit the butter, and it’s vegan, to boot. Feeling more carnivorous? Garnish your steamy bowl of soup with some crispy bacon. The possibilities are nearly endless!

creamy mushroom soup

modified from smittenkitchen.com
(serves about 6, depending on serving size)

1/4 c olive oil

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 large shallots, sliced thin

3 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1/2 c plus 1 Tbs white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

2 lbs (32 oz) sliced mushrooms (I used a mix of crimini and white mushrooms)

4 c beef or vegetable broth

2 c water

1 c heavy cream

2 Tbs butter

In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the sprigs of thyme and let them cook for a bit to infuse the oil with their flavor. After a few minutes, add the sliced shallots and garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dump in all the mushrooms and turn the heat to high. Stirring occasionally, cook the mushrooms for 15 minutes. They’ll lose a lot of their volume and by the end of the 15 minutes, there shouldn’t be much liquid left in the pot. Pour in 1/2 cup of white wine and let the mixture cook for another 3 minutes to evaporate the wine just slightly.

Shallots Mushroom Bowl Shallots Cooked Mushrooms Cooked

Add the broth and the water and cook for half an hour on medium-high heat. Once the time  is up, fish out the thyme sprigs and add the cream and the butter to the pot.

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From here, you can leave the soup chunky, or puree it up! Blend the soup in batches using a regular blender, or you can use my favorite tool, which is an immersion blender. Seriously, these things are a godsend in the kitchen! No more dealing with messy blender cups and having to puree things in batches. An immersion blender is just awesome if you make a lot of smoothies, blended soups and the like. It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. [name that movie reference!]

You can blend the soup just partially, so that there’s still some mushroom chunks going on, or you can go full tilt and blend up everything til it’s super creamy. I chose the latter option. After pureeing, stir in one tablespoon more of the wine. I like the brighter flavor it lends to the soup.

Blended

I love using beef broth in this soup. It brings out the meaty quality of the mushrooms, and makes everything just a little more rich. It’s perfect garnished with a few more sprigs of thyme, and paired with some good crusty bread and a big green salad. If you’re a fan of mushrooms, I can’t think of a better way to enjoy them!

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