I love mushrooms. I tend to put them in everything. And when you talk about comfort food, nothing beats cream of mushroom soup. Like most of us, I grew up eating Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. And my mom used it all the time for casseroles, etc. I still like it! But as I grew older, I wanted something with more flavor and sophistication. So I decided to try making my own. I found all sorts of mushroom soup recipes, that often called for all sorts of exotic or unusual ingredients. But were often lacking in a good solid mushroom flavor. So I decided to try making my own recipe. This is what I came up with.
1 pound sliced mushrooms, I prefer using baby bellas for this recipe, but if you have other kinds you would rather use, go ahead.
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
1 3/4 cup milk or half and half
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of red pepper
Heat the butter and when hot add the chopped onion, fry until starting to brown. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. Cover the pan and allow to steam for about 6-7 minutes, they will wilt then begin to brown a bit. Be careful they don't burn! Add the flour and stir, cooking about a minute, then add the broth and milk. Stir well to blend, then bring to a simmer and cook until it thickens slightly. Add the seasonings and the cream. You can either eat it like this with the slices of mushroom floating in the soup or for a smoother texture blend in a blender or food processor until smooth. Once you try this, you'll never miss Campbell's!
For a heartier version, take some raw chicken and finely mince it. You will want about 1 cup minced chicken. Fry it with the onion and mushrooms, following the recipe as above. The only other difference would be to increase the flour to 3-4 tbsp., making a thicker soup.