Sunday cooking adventures: Mushroom soup

I never much liked the taste of mushroom soup out of a can. The pieces of mushroom were microscopic and the soup didn’t seem to have much flavor. As an adult, I’ve made all kinds of soups because canned soups are so high in sodium, but it wasn’t until this weekend when I was going through some old cooking magazines that I found this recipe. I decided to try it.

Yum, it was good. It has three kinds of mushrooms: dried porcini, shiitake and button mushrooms, but you could use any kind you wanted. This was a super simple recipe. It also has onions, garlic and thyme. The original recipe called for low-fat milk, but I used skim, which is what we have around the house. It also called for a small amount of half and half, which I did use. The only other change I made was I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose white flour. I make that substitution just about any time a recipe calls for white flour. You get more nutrients from the whole grain flour. Finally, a small hit of sherry gave it a punch of flavor.

This recipe calls for a slurry. Made by mixing flour and water with a fork or whisk, you pour it into the almost finished soup mixture, and then let it simmer a few minutes. It thickens the soup without making it lumpy.

The earthy flavor of this soup was wonderful on a chili November night. Hope you like it! Here’s a link to the original recipe: Rich Mushroom Soup.

Mushroom Soup
adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light magazine

2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup boiling water
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
2 teaspoons butter (this is one of the few times I didn’t substitute olive oil — I think the mushrooms needed the butter flavor)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (I used a medium sweet onion)
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (you could substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
1/4 teaspoon salt (Yes, I used salt — it was such a small amount)
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
6 1/2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 12 ounces)
2 (8-ounce) packages presliced button mushrooms
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup dry sherry


1) Place flour in a small skillet over medium-high heat; cook 2 minutes or until flour turns medium brown, stirring constantly. Transfer the flour to a small plate; cool.
2) Combine boiling water and porcini mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let steep 20 minutes. Strain porcini mushrooms through a sieve over a bowl, reserving the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms.
3) Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper; sauté 30 seconds. Add shiitake mushrooms; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add button mushrooms; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chopped porcini mushrooms and broth to pan.
4) Combine reserved porcini soaking liquid with toasted flour, stirring with a whisk, and add to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add milk; simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in half-and-half and sherry.
5) Place 2 cups soup in a blender; process until smooth. Return pureed soup to pan. Warm soup over low heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Makes 8 one-cup servings.

Leave a Reply

Read previous post:
Holiday eating adventures: What’s your plan?

I'm usually excited about seeing the year wind down to a close. I like to cook, so Thanksgiving is practically...