Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Creamless Mushroom Soup


I have a problem with cream of mushroom soup. I completely adore it, but making it from scratch is an all-too-real reminder of how much cream really goes in, which is precisely why this recipe was such a great find. No cream. Whatsoever.

As a thickening agent, the recipe (from 30 Minute Cookbook published by Reader's Digest) recommends soaking 3 slices of bread--crusts off--in cold water, then mixing it into the soup. I used Panna Bella, a tougher Italian bread, and it worked really well. Next time, I'll probably add more than 3 slices (or just more mushrooms?).

I thought the soup was a bit too salty--my guinea pig maintained through chipmunk-like cheeks that it was savory, not salty, but maybe he was just being nice. Either way, this is a problem that a bit of cream would help, but I think next time I'd water down the stock just a bit and not season it with any extra salt. All in all, it is a really good soup, though, and the two of us finished it off in one night (with a lot of bread for dipping).

Recipe:
5 cups stock
½ small onion
1 ½ lb mushrooms, chopped
3 sprigs parsley, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
½ small garlic clove, chopped
Pinch ground nutmeg
3 slices bread
Salt and pepper

Boil stock. Soak bread in cold water.

Heat oil in a pan. Fry onion until lightly browned. Crush garlic in the pan. Add mushrooms and parley.

Squeeze as much water as possible from the bread, then stir it into the mushrooms. Add the stock and nutmeg. Return to boil, half cover, and simmer of 15-20 minutes.

Puree or blend the soup until creamy.

From: 30 Minute Cookbook

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