Friday, December 04, 2009

Cream of Mushroom Soup

A staple of quick cooking and casserole fare, condensed cream of mushroom soup is almost as easy to make from scratch as it is to, well, open the can. The main advantage of making your own, of course, is avoiding the extra sodium and preservatives found in the commercial version.

Next time you need a can, give the following recipe a whirl. You won’t be disappointed.

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
½ cup beef broth (note 1)
½ cup milk
1 tsp shitake mushroom powder (note 2)
Salt and white pepper to taste

Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is well combined and turns a pale tan; cooking this mixture too short of a time doesn’t cook off the “floury” taste.

Add broth, milk and mushroom powder, still whisking constantly. Increase heat; when soup boils, turn heat back down to medium-high and continue to cook (yes, still whisking away) until thick.

Yield: 8 ounces of condensed soup (note 3)

Note 1: The original source for this recipe says “any” broth. While I thought beef would go well with the mushroom flavor, chicken or vegetable broth will work just as well. Use whatever you think you would like.

Note 2: I bought my mushroom powder at Penzeys some time ago, and see it isn’t available in their online store (I’m not even sure they still carry it in the brick-and-mortar store, it’s been so long since I’ve been there). If you cannot find it, or any other mushroom powder, you can substitute 4 to 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms, diced very finely and sautéed in the butter for a while before you add the flour.

Note 3: Eight ounces is a bit less than the standard 10 ¾ ounce can of condensed soup. One and one half times this recipe (1 ½ T butter, 4 ½ T flour, ¾ cup of each liquid and 1 ½ tsp mushroom powder) will give you about 12 ounces of soup.

Why not whip up a batch and try this recipe?

No comments: