I haven't railed against a disgusting packaged food for a while. I think I'll rectify that. Recently another blogger from far away suggested that one of the things she misses about living in the states is Campbell's cream of mushroom soup.
All I can say is "Ewww".
I don't know if I can think of a more vile concoction. It's gelatinous plop and the sucking noise it makes as it slides out of the can in one cohesive glob make me almost want to vomit in my mouth. It certainly doesn't inspire me to want to cook anything. Grandma Foodie did used to make green bean casserole with it at Thanksgiving and as a child I did enjoy it, but I haven't eaten that vile amalgamation in decades. Bon Appetit did publish a nice alternative to the recipe found on the back of the onion can a few years ago. Even nicer if you frizzle some shallots as a topping.
But since it is past Thansgiving, we shall leave those musings for next fall. I can't think of any thing else for which one would consider using cream of mushroom soup. I don't think anyone would just make it straight from the can and eat it as is, would they? Maybe a certain culinarily challenged neighbor (who shall remain nameless).
But really, mushrooms are simply too marvelous to make any second rate substitutions. (Think mushrooms in a can. Double Eww). I could write volumes about my favorite mushrooms recipes. So, I'll leave you with a couple of them. They are both fabulous and both creamy.
4 portobello caps
1 shallot, minced
2 T butter
1 T flour
1/4 cup parmesan or mozzarella, depending on how gooey you like it. Use mozzarella for gooey, parmesan for sharper. Or use both, I don't care.
2 Cups fresh spinach, blanched.
1 T sundried tomatoes or pine nuts, whichever strikes your fancy. Or neither.
Saute the shallot in the butter until soft. Add the flour and whisk until combined. Add the cream. Stir in the cheese and spinach and sun dried tomatos or pine nuts. Fill the mushroom caps and stick 'em in the oven for about 10 minutes until the caps are cooked through. Run under the broiler quickly to brown the tops, adding a bit more parmesan, if desired.
Chestnut porcini soup (adapted from Bon Appetit)
1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
3 cups hot water
2 cups vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth
2 1/4 cups peeled roasted chestnuts (about 1 1/4 pounds) or jarred chestnuts (about 12 ounces), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons dry Sherry
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 small rutabaga, finely chopped
Combine porcini mushrooms and 3 cups hot water in medium bowl. Let stand until porcini mushrooms soften, about 15 minutes.
Drain porcinis and put in a saucepan. Add porcini soaking liquid to saucepan, leaving any sediment behind in bowl. Add vegetable stock and chestnuts to same saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. Puree soup with your hand stick blender or in the regular blender. just be careful if you do in the regualr blender. Do small batches, otherwise you'll have hot soup all over yourself and your kitchen. (Been there. Done that) Return soup to saucepan. Add cream and 1 tablespoon Sherry. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, carrot and rutabaga; sauté until tender and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon Sherry. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with vegetables and serve.