Saturday, December 3, 2011

Quick and easy mushroom soup

We are waking up to frost in the mornings, and even though the days have been sunny there is little warmth left in the sun, so my thoughts turn to soup.  Home made soup is a real comfort food for me, but I have to say I really do not like canned soup and making soup does not have to be too time consuming or difficult.  One of the canned soups that I can remember my mother serving when I was a child was cream of mushroom, and I would not eat it, as I declared I did not like mushroom soup

I came to terms with my hate for mushroom soup a long time ago when I realized it was not mushroom soup I did not like it was canned mushroom soup. I made this the other evening after work, and it filled my need for a warming soup and was very quick and easy to make.

1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove chopped or sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 cups of sliced mushrooms (any mushrooms will do I used one portabello and the remainder button)
A sprig of fresh thyme if you have one
2 cups of chicken stock
1/2 cup of cream (or milk if you are feeling virtuous)
1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg

Sweat off the onion and garlic in a large saucepan until the onion is transparent but has not started to go golden.

Add in the mushrooms it does not need to be exactly 3 cups a little more or a little less is really not going to make much of a difference.

Stir them in to the onions and cook for a couple of minutes until they are starting to collapse down. Then add the chicken stock and thyme and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through.

Then either pour into a blender or using a hand blender puree until the mixture is fairly smooth, though actually I prefer some pieces for texture.

Pour back in to pot and bring back to a simmer and add the cream or milk.  Cream will obviously give you a creamier richer soup, but it also adds dreaded fat calories which I am trying to avoid at the moment. At this time taste for salt and add a good amount of freshly grounded black pepper. When the soup is warm enough to eat, you do not want to bring it to a boil once you have added cream, grate in a little fresh nutmeg.  In this recipe if I did not have the whole nutmeg to grate in I would not used the ready grated nutmeg as the taste is quite different and the fresh grated adds something that ready grated just can not.

Serve with some fresh bread (preferably brown) and butter and you have a good warm winter lunch or light supper as it was in my case.

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