Thursday, December 28, 2017

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

My mom's pot roast is a recipe I can make in my sleep. A good chuck roast, topped with potatoes, onion, carrots, celery... A little bit of water in the bottom of the pan, and then topped with salt, pepper, and cream of mushroom soup - from a can. Slow roast it for a couple of hours and it will fall apart. The mushroom soup works as a gravy that coats every bite with a creamy richness. 

But I'm sure you know the deal with canned soups... as in the bazillion ingredients that you can't pronounce and therefore, are probably not good for you. I hate that about food that is otherwise convenient and tasty. But as it turns out, cream of mushroom soup is actually pretty easy to make from scratch. And it tastes better and fresher (obviously) than the gelatinous stuff that comes out of the can. 

I'll say upfront (because you're probably thinking it), that yes, you lose the convenience factor. I have read that it can actually be canned, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I make a fresh batch every time I need it. But in the event that you want to have this stocked up in your pantry, a Pinterest search will likely lead you to someone who can teach you how to do that. Another option is to freeze it. Something else that I have read about, but not yet tried. 

This recipe will make about 4 cups. If you don't need it all at once, you can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

8 ounces chopped mushrooms (of your choice)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup (give or take) onions, diced
5 Tbsp butter, divided
1/3 cup flour
3 1/2 cups milk


Start by chopping your mushrooms.

And also your garlic and onions. Now is a good time to tell you that the onions and garlic are actually optional. I put them in just about everything, but it's possible that whatever you are making with your cream of mushroom soup already has onions and garlic in it. If that's the case, then maybe you'll want to leave them out of the soup.

Start by melting 2 Tbsp of butter in a large skillet. You'll want to use a skillet or pan large enough to hold 4 cups of soup.

Add in the onions and garlic and cook over medium low heat for just a couple of minutes.

After a couple of minutes, add in the mushrooms and stir. The mushrooms will shrink down as you cook them. Keep stirring until they are cooked through - several minutes.

Once they are cooked through, remove the mixture with a slotted spoon. Leave the drippings in the pan, and add the remaining butter to it. Cook over medium low heat until the butter is melted, then add in the flour. You get this pasty looking mixture which is the magic thickening agent for the soup.

Slowly pour in the milk, and start whisking away until there are no more flour clumps left. Continue stirring (whisking) over medium heat until it begins to thicken.

Once the cream mixture is smooth and thick, add the mushroom mixture back in and stir to incorporate it all together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

And then transfer it to your storage container or recipe!

Note: While this is a thick soup, it is not as condensed like the canned version.

And there you have it! No additives or preservatives. Just straight up Cream of Mushroom Soup.


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