3 November, 2015
Cream of Mushroom Soup
For reason I can’t quite explain, I’ve always loved cream of mushroom soup. While Campbell’s was disappointing, it left me thinking there had to be better out there. Progresso makes some as well, but it seems to be seasonal, or at least that’s the impression I’ve gotten from looking around at my local supermarket. Randomly one day, my mind wandered to making it. My girlfriend, at the time, thought I was crazy…until she tasted it. I made it a few times and then didn’t bother again for years.
Fast forward to a few weeks back when my current girlfriend and I stopped by our favorite sandwich shop/watering hole/gastro pub, 1111 in Tacoma, Washington. Let me explain. Normally when we go by there, it’s Friday and I avail myself of their clam chowder. It’s one of the best I’ve ever had but it’s only available on Fridays. Not a big deal except, this time when we stopped in, it wasn’t Friday. We quickly settled on our sandwiches (for whatever reason, one of us always orders the Brutus) as usual, but then I wasn’t sure what to do. The healthy voice (I used that term loosely) said salad but I asked about the soup. Our server/bar tender quickly informed me that the soup was cream of mushroom. Intrigued, I said I’d have that. I was not disappointed. I do believe the cook/artist uses a similar base for it as he does for the Clam Chowder, complete with a slight fiery kick, but it was still one of the best two cream of mushroom soups I’ve ever had. Lots of that satisfying meaty mushroom flavor mixed with creamy comforting goodness, and finished with a little kick. Awesome.
After that meal, cream of mushroom soup was front and center in my taste bud file again. I wanted more. I desperately opened a can of Progresso Cream of Mushroom out of my stash, but it just didn’t have the flavor. It seemed dull and lifeless. And looking into the bowl, it appeared as a barren wasteland mostly devoid of the satisfying mushroom chunks I know and love. I was getting desperate. I thought about digging out the cookbook I used to use but then I decided to search the net and see what came up. I found a recipe that looked pretty good aside from the fact that it included nutmeg. Nutmeg??? Yeah, I just couldn’t see marring the mushroomy flavor that way. So I kept looking . Another had somehow managed to cook the mushrooms without using any Worcestershire sauce. What was this soupy blashphemy? No matter. I decided to wing it and I’d like to share it with you.
- 8 ounces Fresh Mushrooms
- 2 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 -2 large Garlic Clove, Minced
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 2 -3 tablespoons Flour
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Pepper
- 1⁄4teaspoon Thyme
- Cut the mushrooms into slices. Feel free to mix varieties.
- Melt butter in large frying pan. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, then add garlic. I prefer to cook until the mushrooms begin browning.
- Blend in 2 T. flour and stir.
- Add in the chicken broth and thyme and heat until slightly thickened while stirring frequently.
- Stir cream with additional 1 T. flour and seasonings. Add in cream to soup. Heat to thicken while stirring frequently.
- Serve and enjoy!