Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Cream" of Mushroom Soup with Rosemary and Thyme

In the past two weeks, I've made this soup twice!  Along with a bunch of other soups- I think we're going through 3 batches weekly.  It's soup season, and I'm making the most of it.  Soup is such a great way to warm and fill yourself up with nutritious foods, without too many calories.  Unless you add a bunch of oil or cream, but we're not doing that here!

No cream/milk and just a little oil or butter to get things started.  The rest is just pure nutritious goodness and flavor.

I used my own wild picked mushrooms that we dried during the summer, but you can use whatever is handy at the grocery store.  There is usually porcini or a mixed bag of wild dried mushrooms, found right next to the regular mushrooms.  If you don't have quite the 3/4 of a cup, that's fine- just use more regular mushrooms to help make up for it.

If you're not a fan of thyme or rosemary, leave them out.  When I made the first batch of this soup a couple weeks ago, I didn't use them and it still tasted great.  No need to substitute anything else unless you want to.

What you Need:

1-2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 large onion, sliced
~half bulb of garlic, peeled and chopped roughly
1-2 large sprigs EACH thyme and rosemary
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup dried wild mushrooms
1/4 cup red wine
4 cups beef broth
salt and pepper
cooked and crumbled bacon (optional, for garnish)


Start by soaking the dried mushrooms.  I just go ahead and put them in the broth for this.  That way, you get to use the flavor that goes into the broth while soaking.  Put the mushrooms in a bowl or a 2 cup measuring cup, and fill with broth.  Let soak for at least 20 minutes.

While the dried mushrooms are soaking, heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat in a large pot.  Add the sliced onion, garlic, and herbs (still on their stems).  Saute for about 15 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown.  Add the sliced mushrooms and continue sauteing for another 10 minutes.  Keep the heat on medium and stay patient- cooking them a little lower and slower will develop nice flavor. Deglaze the pan with the red wine by pouring it in, and using a spatula to stir up anything that started to stick to the bottom.

Add the now not-dry mushrooms, broth they were soaking in, and the rest of the broth. Turn up heat to bring to a boil, and then turn back to medium to reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer for at least 20 minutes.  Take off heat.  Pick out the herbs (or whatever is left on the stems) with a spoon.  If you want to have some chunks left in your soup, spoon out a couple large ladles of onion and mushrooms and reserve.  Otherwise, puree the whole batch using an immersion blender or regular blender.  If you use a regular blender, I recommend waiting about 10 minutes to let it cool a bit before transferring to the blender.  After pureeing, add the reserved mushrooms/onions back in (if you reserved).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with bacon, if desired.  Enjoy!

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