Helloooo, friends! I’m back!!
It’s been a while, and I do so apologize for disappearing for a few weeks there. I’ve don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here on Another Root before, but I work at a little art competition called ArtPrize — which takes over my city (and aaaaall of my time) for a few weeks each fall. I’ve been keeping pretty busy managing PR and social media for the 19-day event…
Oh! And my wonderful husband and I bought and moved into our first home (eek!) just before ArtPrize got underway, and just three weeks ago adopted the most adorable puppy (double eek!!). So we’ve been pretty busy. I’ll be sharing photos of both house and our furry baby soon!
Life has finally settled down into a more normal pace, and I can’t wait to share with you all of the recipes I’ve been dreaming up since I’ve been away. Starting with one of my favorite soup recipes: homemade cream of mushroom!
If you’re like me, something about the change in seasons — the frosty bite in the morning air, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the cozy warm sweaters and extra thick socks — makes you crave all the comforting, creamy, delicious foods. Every bite of this homemade cream of mushroom soup just bursts with yummy, wholesome mushroom flavor — earthy, hearty, savory, and perfectly creamy. And I should know. I can’t stop myself from eating a spoonful every time I stir the simmering pot. I chose to use baby portabella mushrooms for this recipe, but you can so easily switch things up to use whatever your favorite mushroom is — crimini, oyster, porcini, morel (if you’re feeling extravagant!).
I’m also convinced, though I haven’t tried it yet, that you can adapt this recipe to make homemade cream of anything soup — celery and chicken are often the staples in casseroles, but why not explore asparagus, peas, broccoli. I’ll definitely be trying all of the above in the weeks to come.
Just give me the pot of this creamy mushroom-y goodness and a spoon (make it a big one). 🙂
I’d never really considered making my own cream of “insert your favorite kind here” soup. After years of opening a can, mixing with water and pouring it into a crock pot or casserole dish to make any number of those oh-so-creamy, soul warming comfort-food dishes, I started eyeing the ingredients label. Not impressed, let me tell you.
The inspiration to make my own came after K and I got back from our honeymoon in Paris. We ate meal after meal of delicious, intoxicating and unabashedly creamy dishes. We ate when we were hungry, stopped when we were full, enjoyed wine every day, and never once felt the need to snack constantly — something completely unthinkable to me on the first couple of days, when I reached dinner time and hadn’t had my usual 3 p.m. snack attack.
I began to think that there’s gotta be something I can take away from this experience and incorporate into my own cooking and daily eating habits. I started searching online for any cooking class that I could jump into. Since I hadn’t planned ahead very much, really at all (so very unlike me…), the only classes with openings, unfortunately, were primarily for making macarons and other sweets (which in retrospect, I wish I had taken anyways — macarons are pretty amazing). Without the ability to take a real live cooking class, I turned to my next best option — a cookbook to bring home with me and experiment in recreating the aromas and flavors of a Parisian bistro in my own kitchen.
We set off to Shakespeare and Company, a well-known bookstore on the banks of the Seine, to see what we could find — and ended up with a copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 2,” because who better to learn the art of French cooking from when back on US soil than Julia Child? (I ended up with Volume 2 because I was so excited to find the cookbook in the first place, I didn’t even notice! I’ve since picked up a copy of Volume 1, and can’t wait to read it cover to cover, and delve into the nuances of French sauces. That makes me feel like such a nerd, and I’m totally okay with it.)
For hours on the plane back home I poured over pages and pages of the simplest and most mouth watering recipes. The book started out with cream of everything soups, recipes and descriptions written in such precise and vivid language, which I so admired. I promised myself that as soon as the weather began to cool, I’d attempt to make my own creamy soup.
This cream of mushroom soup is my first attempt, and it turned out so much better than I could have ever imagined. Each bite brings me back to some little open air cafe along a cobble stone path.
While I can imagine endless possibilities with this soup — doused over roast chicken, drizzled over a charred steak, baked into an amazing casserole — I’m perfectly happy to eat it with a spoon and a chunk of crusty bread for a soul-warming meal on a cool fall day.
I’ll leave you today as Julia would >> Bon appetit!
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ¼ medium yellow onion, minced
- 8 ounces of fresh baby portabello mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups veggie or chicken broth
- 1 cup 2% milk (or ½ cup heavy cream)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms, stirring to coat. Saute until the mushrooms have released their liquid and started to brown. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the flour until is absorbs all remaining butter and liquid, and cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned (this helps to avoid the chalky flour flavor).
- Pour in the broth and stir vigorously to combine and ensure there are no lumps. Then add in the milk, salt and pepper.
- Bring up to a low simmer, and simmer uncovered for a few minutes (5-6) until thickened to your desired consistency.