Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cream of Mushroom Soup

The turkey pot pie recipe I just posted calls for a can of cream of mushroom soup, which is probably one of the most basic ingredients in a pantry. So, on my latest trip to Trader Joe's, I decided to pick up a couple of cans in addition to the one I needed for my pot pie, only to find that TJs doesn't carry cream of mushroom soup. In fact, they don't carry cream of anything soup! No cream of broccoli, no cream of chicken, no cream of asparagus. As I stood in the soup aisle pouting, creating a traffic jam in the early morning rush of TJs human traffic, Zeph asked, "Why can't we just make our own?" And dangit, he was right!

So I whipped out my smart phone, hopped on my mobile internet, and Googled "how to make cream of mushroom soup," all the while still blocking traffic in the soup aisle at TJs. Usually I would scoff at using a cell phone in such an earthy place, but this was a mushroom emergency. I found this website, grabbed some ingredients, and merrily finished shopping.

On Monday, I again checked the website to see what the recipe called for, and then pretty much did whatever I wanted using the general guidelines offered. It worked perfectly, and shopping at chain grocery stores was once again avoided! And now, without further ado, my final recipe:

Cream of Mushroom Soup
What you need:
1/2 cup of mushrooms (volume when chopped)
2 cloves garlic (optional)
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp to 1/4 cup flour (depending on desired thickness)

What you do:
Mince the mushrooms and garlic. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and saute until brown and aromatic. Mix in the desired amount of flour (1 Tbsp will make a thinner sauce, and 1/4 cup will make a sauce the thickness of condensed soup). After the flour and the butter are completely mixed, add the stock and milk. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the soup to a boil, stirring consistently. As the soup is heating, add in spices to taste. I used salt, pepper, and the Scarborough Fair quartet.

Once the mixture has simmered for a few minutes, the flour will have done all the thickening it is going to do. If you want a thicker soup, it is possible to add more flour at this point. Be sure to add it slowly and whisk in thoroughly to avoid lumps. If the soup is too thick, more stock and milk can be added (in equal parts). Eat this soup as a meal (it was really tasty), or add it to any recipe that calls for it.

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Blogger indil said...

I somehow never find or make the time to do cool experiments like this in SLO. I wish I did. Good for you!

December 19, 2007 6:03 PM  

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