Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

April 2010 685

My mom was a really great Italian cook, but she served us convenience foods on occasion too.  Jello was one of her standard desserts, and we ate plenty of canned cream of mushroom soup too. You know the brand – the one with a red and white label that Andy Warhol transformed into an icon of pop art. 


I’m sure lots of people still consume that Campbell’s soup.  I confess to using a can or two in creamy casseroles back in the 70s when I was a newlywed. Although I haven’t had the stuff in decades, far be it from me to disparage it. Campbell’s is headquartered in Camden, N.J. and  God knows Camden and New Jersey both need the revenues that the company contributes to their coffers.

Let’s just say I prefer the homemade version of any of those soups – and this homemade cream of mushroom soup doesn’t even take that long to make.  Sure it takes longer than opening a can, but even operating with a cold last week, I scraped this soup together in just a little more than a half hour. This time I used baby bella mushrooms since that’s what I had on hand. They’re a kind of small portabella mushroom and they taste really meaty. But you can use white button mushrooms, shitake or for an even fancier version of the soup, a combination of many different mushrooms.

Just stay away from that can opener.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Printable Recipe here

1/4 cup minced shallots

1 clove garlic, minced

2 T. butter

2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used baby bella)

3 T. flour

1/2 cup vermouth (or dry white wine)

3 cups chicken broth, heated

a few sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 cup – 3/4 cup heavy cream

squirt of Kitchen Bouquet, optional

salt, fresh black pepper

a shot of brandy or cognac

minced fresh parsley

Sauté the onions and garlic in the butter until soft. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until mushrooms release their liquid and are cooked most of the way through – about 10 minutes or so. Add the flour, stirring and cooking for a couple of minutes. It will become pasty but that’s ok. It will thin out when you add the liquids.

Add the vermouth , stirring into the flour mixture and cook for another couple of minutes. It will be very thick. Add the chicken broth a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the cream and parsley and stir some more, and if desired the Kitchen Bouquet. I like to use Kitchen Bouquet because it helps the turn become a richer tan color. It adds some flavor too. Cook another 10 minutes and just before serving, splash the soup with a shot of cognac or brandy.

You can puree the whole thing in a blender if you prefer a smoother soup, but I like the texture of the sliced mushrooms so I omit that step.


joe@italyville said...

I was never tempted by the sound of "cream of mushroom soup" can't really say why since I love mushrooms... but then again, I've never seen one that looks as good as yours!

Cathy said...

This sounds heavenly, Linda. I love homemade mushroom soup. My farmers market opens Saturday and I should be able to find several varieties there. I've printed your recipe in anticipation.

elra said...

Absolutely divine. I really like how silky it look Linda, but with chunkier texture. I really like it, because I am not too fond of the puree soup. Well done!

Susi said...

That sounds beyond delicious. I've never been a fan of the "cream of mushroom" soup cans but since I love mushrooms your soup sounds absolutely divine. Plus I love cooking with wine :o)

Peter M said...

I make my soup similar to yours but I also puree some of the mushrooms and leave some slices to float around too!

I get a robust mushroom flavour and it thickens and relies less on cream.

One of my fave soups.

daniela said...

Linda che bella ricetta hai postato!!! Sento il profumo da qui!!!

Linda said...

I adore homemade cream of mushroom soup....I have copied your version and will try it when I have my next craving for it.

It looks so comforting in that bowl...beautiful pics!

Proud Italian Cook said...

So glad you're feeling better Linda, this soup would have comforted me when I was sick too. I'm not so much in soup mode right now but when the weather gets cooler I will remember this for sure!

Claudia said...

Since we have a chance of frost tonight and SNOW (shudder), you can imagine how good this looks to me. (Like the shot of brandy, too). Mushrooms never looked so lovely.

Phyllis said...

Looks delicious! Cream of mushroom is one of my favorite soups but I must confess I've never made it from scratch. But I agree that homemade soup tastes way better than anything canned. Will definitely bookmark this recipe :)

EAT! said...

When I was first married, I thought Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup was the greatest culinary invention. So glad you posted a new version for me to try.

lisa said...

Mmm, homemade cream of mushroom soup is amazing. Your recipe sounds incredible and looks fantastic! Great texure -- much prefer this to the creamy super smooth soup, I had growing up.

Gracie said...

The weather here seems to fir your recipe perfectly......

Sheryll And Critters. said...

We are so glad you are back on your toes now.

I love homemade any kind of soup and especially cream of mushroom. I do about the same, except I never seem to have brandy on hand, so use wine.

I don't know about the Bella or Portabella, but years ago a wholistic chef told me that Shitaki mushrooms (I adore them as well) were good for folks with high blood pressure, because they help to thin your blood. So, now I am off to research other varieties as well as the Shitaki.

Oh, what is your recipe for Gazpacho? I adore it for this hot weather down here in Jax, Florida. Oooops, I guess that is another blog. I just had to ask though, for it may be in the archives already.

Thank you,

Sheryll & Critters.

Daniela said...

Che buona questa zuppa, è molto invitante.
Ciao Daniela.

Danielle said...

I've always used cream of mushroom soup as a base for a cream sauce of some sort. I really want to try a bowl of this soup!

Jen_from_NJ said...

The consistency of your soup looks just perfect! Great tip about the Kitchen Bouquet - I've never used it before.

Catherine said...

I love cream of mushroom soup! This bowl looks fabulous! Mmmm, I wish I had a bowl right now!
You have a beautiful site. Cheers~

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A very pleasant soup, yummy!



The Food Hunter said...

I'm with you homemade is so much better than anything you can get from a can.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

When I was a little girl I begged my Mom to buy the white button mushrooms I saw in the supermarket as I thought they would taste like marshmallows. When we got home and I bit into one I was so shocked it wasn't sweet but I liked it anyway. I've been hooked on all kinds of mushrooms since, and love a creamy mushroom soup like yours. Mmmmmmm

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Amen, to this soup. I haven't bought a canned soup in ages! This is one of my favorite soups-- I could eat it winter or summer. So glad you are inspiring others to make their own, because it is so easy. The vermouth is a great touch, too.

Barbara GF said...

That looks like a luscious bowl of soup, Linda. I'm sure using the portobellos gave it even more flavor.

Cream of Field Mushroom Soup said...

Very yummy food! I will preparing this food by tomorrow.. I must have to try it!