Note to Self:

Friday, November 4, 2011

How to Make Really Good Mushroom Soup (and a few others)...four recipes and a link.


Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.”
LouisP. De Gouy

As the weather turns colder so to do our appetites seem to turn heartier. Soups and stews are often on the menu this time of year and there are none more luxurious than those that are "creamed." And as delicious as they are, cream soups are exceedingly easy to make. Some cooks like to make cooking seem to be more complicated than it needs to be when it is really just a lot of common sense. A person has to listen to their own inner instinct when cooking--not necessarily what others have to say or what a recipe says--but also practice and taste continually...and this is what I was thinking as I made a 10-gallon pot of sherried mushroom soup today while at my job.

Anyhow, most of these soups can be made using a similar but basic formula...saute a mirepoix in butter,add and cook an equal amount of flour--forming a roux--and then add broth, making a sort of veloute. Then the soup becomes whatever you like, depending what vegetable you add to the pot. Then, of course, you add cream and nearly any other flavoring you see fit. Puree it or leave it chunky; it's up to you.

If you'd like to learn how to make your own broth (very simple), or would like to see a few additional recipes, click here.


Sherried Mushroom Soup
Yield: about 10 cups
3 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced carrot
1 pound mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sherry

Heat the butter in a small heavy soup pot over high heat. When the butter begins to bubble add the onion, celery and carrot; sauté over for approximately 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper; sauté an additional 5 minutes or until the mushroom juice evaporates. Stir in the flour, lower the heat to medium and cook the flour, with the mushroom mixture, for approximately 5 minutes while stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Whisk in the broth making sure to remove any lumps. Bring the soup to a boil, lower it to a simmer, and cook the soup for 15 minute. Skim any scum that may rise to the surface. Add the cream, then the sherry; simmer an additional 5 minutes. Serve while hot.

Cream of Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Yield: about 12 cups

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Sauté the onion, celery, and carrots, over medium heat in the butter or olive oil for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute or two. Stir in the flour and cook over medium/low heat for 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken broth, stir with a whisk to remove any lumps. Stir in the broccoli. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add the heavy cream simmer 2 minutes, then add the cheese and stir until melted. Puree in a food processor or blender.

Butternut Squash Bisque with Apple and Toasted Walnuts
Yield: 6 cups
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds peeled and diced butternut squash
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1/2 cup small diced apple

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat and add the onions. Sweat the onions over medium heat for 5 minutes or until they are translu­cent. Add the flour and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and diced pumpkin; sauté another minute. Add the broth and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is very tender. Add the cream and simmer for 1 or 2 minutes longer. Puree in a blender or food processor. After ladling the soup into warm bowls, garnish it with the toasted walnuts and diced apple. 

Roast Red Pepper Bisque
Yield: about 12 cups
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups diced roast red peppers
2 cups heavy cream

Sauté the onion, celery, and carrots, over medium heat in the butter or olive oil for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute or two. Stir in the flour and cook over medium/low heat for 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken broth, stir with a whisk to remove any lumps. Stir in the diced peppers. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the heavy cream simmer 2 minutes. Puree in a food processor or blender. Strain if you desire a smoother consistency.

No comments: