Jan 5, 2011

Cream of Mushroom Soup

You have to hand it to the great marketers at Campbell’s who after creating their condensed canned version of creamed mushroom soup (CMS) in 1934, managed to convince home cooks all across America that CMS is a vital ingredient for tasty home cooking.

I 've had more than one woman who wanted to avoid processed soup ask me in desperation what to do about all the recipes that call for cream of mushroom soup. I completely understand because CMS used to be a main ingredient in a LOT of my recipes. My food horizons have expanded quite a bit since those days, but there are still some favorites like chicken and rice or green bean casserole that I like to serve.

A couple of years ago, when I decided to do as much of my holiday dinners as possible from scratch, I started looking for a way to make my own CMS. I discovered that creamed soup has actually been in existence long before canned food, and amazingly you CAN make a nutrient-dense version right in your own kitchen.

Here’s how I make mine:

1 cup chopped mushrooms (I like local shiitake mushrooms from 3-Buddy’s Berry and Mushroom Farm).
½ cup chopped onion
3 Tbsp. butter or lard
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp sage
½ tsp Real salt, Celtic salt, or other unprocessed salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
¾ cup chicken broth
1 cup fresh cream or fresh milk
2 to 3 Tbsp thickener (GMO-free cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot flour)

Sauté the mushrooms and onion in the butter until tender. Add seasonings and broth. Bring to a simmer. Whisk thickener into the fresh cream or milk. Add cream to pan and stir until thickened.

This is best with fresh cream, but I have trouble getting fresh cream. Milk works fine with a little extra thickener.

You can use this in a recipe or just enjoy it as a soup. Remember that this is not condensed soup, so you will need to reduce your liquid when using it in a recipe.

This recipe is participating in Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop.


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