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Simmering healthy mushrooms in a rich, creamy broth is a great way to get your kids to eat their vegetables. I had only had canned cream of mushroom soup until I stumbled upon this recipe. It was absolutely delicious and now I can’t go back to the canned variety.
I tried my own version, using wild mushrooms and adding making some minor tweaks. Serving the soup with herbed croutons, adds texture and crunch. Cream of mushroom soup with herbed ciabatta croutons is worthy of being served at any dinner party.
Cream of Mushroom Soup Bread
The first step is to make the herbed croutons. You’ll want to use a hearty, crusty bread, such as Italian bread, so that the croutons get nice and crispy. Use a serrated knife to cut the bread into cubes, and toss the bread cubes with some olive oil and your favorite dried herbs and spices. Garlic and parmesan are great additions as well. Simply bake the croutons for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are nice and crispy.
Sauteed Mushrooms Soup
For my mushroom soup, I went with a beautiful medley of wild mushrooms. Some of my favorite varieties are shiitakes, chanterelles, oysters, criminis, and enokis. Using different mushrooms gives the soup more depth and dimension. For flavor boosters, use chopped onion, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Begin by heating some olive oil and sauteing the onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme, until the onions soften. Then add the mushrooms, and continue to cook them until they begin to soften. If desired, remove some of the sauteed mushrooms to use as garnish.
Chicken With Cream Of Mushroom Soup
The next step is to deglaze the pan with some sherry or white wine. Scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, and reduce the sherry by half. This was a great addition because it gave the soup a delicious brightness. Add the broth, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer the soup until the mushrooms are completely tender. Remove the bay leaf and cool the soup, slightly, before the next step.
Substitute For Cream of Mushroom Soup
When the soup is cooled, puree it until the mushrooms are in small pieces, but not completely smooth. Return the soup to the pan and bring it to a boil. Add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese, and heat the soup through. The cream gives the soup a great richness, and the parmesan works very well with the mushrooms, and adds a great salty bite.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with parsley, roasted red peppers (optional), and the reserved mushrooms. Top with the herby croutons, and sit down for a well-deserved meal.
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup Recipe
For the croutons:
- 1 loaf crusty bread, such as Italian or French bread, cut into ¾ inch cubes
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
For the soup:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 ½ pounds wild mushrooms (shiitake, chanterelle, oyster, crimini, etc.), coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup dry sherry or white wine
- 3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- chopped roasted red peppers, for garnish (optional)
- chopped parsley, for garnish
For the croutons:
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl, toss the bread cubes with the oil, garlic, oregano, basil, sage, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Spread the cubes evenly on a baking sheet, and bake for 8 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle over the parmesan cheese, and bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until the croutons are golden brown and crispy. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- For the soup:
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme leaves, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and tender. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for another five minutes, or until they begin to soften and give off their liquid. If desired, remove ¼ cup of the mushrooms, to use as garnish.
- Add the sherry (or wine), and simmer until it reduces by half. Add the broth, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer the soup, uncovered for 6-8 minutes, or until the mushrooms are completely tender.
- Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and allow the soup to cool slightly, for ten minutes, before you puree it. When the soup has cooled, puree it in a food processor or blender, 1/3 at a time, until the mushrooms are in small pieces, but not completely pureed.
- Return the soup to the pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Whisk in the cream and parmesan cheese, and heat it through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with reserved mushrooms, croutons, parsley, and roasted red peppers (if using).