Did you notice? I named my blog Soup-er-Power, but that’s actually a sub-title under “insidertips”. When I’m talking about SOUP, I’ll give you my “insidertips” that aren’t usually included when I simply share recipes. It’s like a cooking lesson where you get the asides that will give you the insider’s edge.
My cousin Maria [Kanzler] Gillette told me that she loves mushrooms but she’s allergic to milk. I must have six “go-to” recipes for Mushroom Soup, and all but 1 call for either milk or cream. Coincidentally, my #1 favorite happens to be the recipe that for years I thought was from my Aunt Judy (Maria’s mother), but after she read this article, she told me that it wasn’t hers…. I promise you that the recipe is in this post….. But the soup will be especially yummy and healthy if you read the “insidertips” that precede the actual recipe.
The one ingredient that causes befuddlement when we’re talking about a delicious mushroom dish is BUTTER. I mean, you need butter to sauté the mushrooms and onions, right? Julia Child (and my grandmother) would insist on it. Okay, here’s the “insidertip” for avoiding butter and not giving up the taste. Ready? Butter-flavored Grape Seed Oil (GSO). This is one of my most favorite recent discoveries, thanks to my friend Yvonne Hall. She is a Wildtree independent consultant who launched her business about a year ago. I’ve tried many of her time-saving and healthy products, and they’re all delicious. I use the Butter-flavored GSO to make pancakes for my grandson Nathan, to sauté onions, mushrooms, or any vegetable that calls for butter, and even my Sautéed Spicy Shrimp recipe that calls for butter and olive oil. I use LESS FAT and NO DAIRY. And nobody can tell the difference! You can transform all of your recipes that call for butter by making this one small change.
You can go to Yvonne’s Wildtree web site to see all of her healthy products.
I’ll cover detailed Soup Basics another day. But there are a few “insidertips”:
ALWAYS use a good quality stock. The base for any soup will make or break your soup. Homemade is best (future post), but if you just can’t spend the time, I recommend “doctoring up” one of the following canned Chicken Broths:
Swanson Certified Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Broth
Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
How to doctor it up:
To 2 quarts chicken broth, add:
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin
1 Bay Leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
6 sprigs fresh parsley
Simmer gently for 15 minutes; strain; use broth immediately.
To save time, you can start simmering the broth while you chop and sauté the vegetables. And now, as promised, THE RECIPE:
[NOT] Aunt Judy’s Mushroom Soup
2 Tablespoons Butter (or: Butter-flavored GSO)
2-3 Minced Shallots
1 1/2 pounds chopped mushrooms (I use the food processor)
7 Cups Good-quality Chicken Broth (prefer Homemade)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Heat butter or oil in large saucepan. Add shallots; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Puree soup in blender in batches (don’t fill more than half-full, and cover top with kitchen towel to prevent burns!). Season with salt and lemon juice. Garnish with mushroom slices if you wish.
Insidertip: The longer you puree the soup, the creamier it will be. You can grate a little nutmeg over the top, and if dairy is NOT an issue, adding about 1/2 cup of Half & Half or Heavy Cream will make the consistency even silkier.
Let me know if you try this recipe!