National Mushroom Day

Yes, there’s a fungus “amungus.” If you are not a fan of shrooms, simply click delete and move on in your reading.

I love mushrooms, stuffed, grilled, sautéed, fried, etc., etc., etc. However, ‘tis Autumn, which in my world signals the time to start making various soups again. Since it’s National Mushroom Day, I “capped” my ingredient thoughts at mushrooms.

Here’s my 1978 recipe, simple and straightforward.

Cathy’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 c sliced fresh mushrooms

2 T chopped onion

2 T butter

2 T flour

2 c chicken broth

1 c whipping cream

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp white pepper

Sauté mushrooms & onion in butter till tender, but not brown, about 3 minutes. Blend in flour; add broth. Cook & stir till slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cream, salt, nutmeg & pepper. Heat through. Makes 4 servings.

 

I still like it that way. However, I confess to having kicked it up more than a few notches in more recent decades.

 

Cathy’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

This is scrumptious, simply served with warm, crunchy garlic or onion bread and a side salad.

4 slices bacon

2 T olive oil

2 T butter

2 sweet onions, chopped (2 c)

1 T minced garlic

1 lg stalk celery, finely diced (1/3 – ½ c)

8 oz portobello mushrooms (2-3 caps), gills scraped out & discarded, before slicing & coarsely dicing

8 oz shiitake mushroom caps, sliced

8 oz cremini/button mushrooms, sliced (& a few chopped)

½ tsp each: salt, black pepper, white pepper

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ – ¾ tsp ground thyme

½ c pinot grigio (or other wine of your preference)

½ c almond flour

4 c chicken broth or stock

3 c beef broth or stock

1 c heavy cream or half-and-half

2 T thinly sliced green onions (green portions)

2-3 T chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley

Cook bacon in the olive oil in large, high-sided skillet or soup pan.  Remove cooked bacon from the oil (crumble to use in the soup or reserve for another use).  Add the butter.  Sauté onions and garlic for 2 min over med-high heat; then add celery and mushrooms.  Reduce heat to med; let cook 5-6 min, stirring a few times.  Stir in seasonings and wine.  Stir and cook 1 min.  Sprinkle flour over the top; stir in.  Gradually stir in chicken broth, stirring till thickened a bit.  Then stir in beef broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer 10 min.  Stir in cream, green onions, and half the parsley.  (Taste & add more salt & pepper, if desired.)  Heat through, but do not let boil.  Serve, sprinkled with remaining parsley.  Makes 10-12 cups.

KISS Notes:  You may crumble the cooked bacon and include it or not in the soup, as you prefer.  You may also wish to scrape out the dark “gills” under the portobello caps, as when stuffing them.  For soup I leave them.  Their flavor is strong, but it adds a perfect balance to the cream in the soup.  As with most soups, flavors improve when reheated a second day, so try to make this the day before you plan to serve it.

KISS Variation:  Replace 4 c chicken broth with 2 c beef broth and omit the cream to make a Portobello-Plus Mushroom Sauce to serve over pasta.  It’s great with chicken pasta dishes or mushroom ravioli, for example.  Simply sprinkle shredded Parmesan over the top.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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