Monday, January 25, 2010

Cream of Mushroom soup

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.

Stuffed portobellos

4 portobello caps
1 shallot, minced
2 T butter
1 T flour
1/2 cream
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.


Anonymous said...


Hey Foodie Diva. I have a bunch of grilled chicken already kinda cut up with leftover bellpepper and onion that can't be too much more cooked without getting really dry.

What can I do with it for dinner? It may even already be a little on the dry side, but I won't throw it out. There's too much of it and I think it can be salvaged with some know how. TIA! xox

The Mendon Foodie said...

Hope, how about this:

You're going to have to douse it in something moist to disguise the dryness. (Next time, use a meat thermometer and don't cook over 160. Let it rest and come up to 165. Then it won't be dry. Really, how many times do I have to tell you?)

If your kids are like my kids, they like pasta. Saute some mushrooms in butter and add the chicken and peppers/onions. Saute just until heated through. Throw in some sundried tomatos, some cream and a bit of beef stock or demi-glace (I know, too much to hope for that you have demi-glace on hand. ;) ). Throw it over some pasta. Bowties or penne would work well. Oh, and don't forget to add some parmesan at the end.

Or try this:

Shred the chicken and make tacos.

or make my curried chicken pasta salad.

Or how about bbq chicken pizza. Throw a crust of some sort in the oven topped with olive oil, mozzarella, the chicken and drizzle lightly with your favorite bbq sauce.

There, you got some easy, some super easy and a medium. Let me know how it turns out.

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TexasHeather said...

So, you aren't going to take away my blog award, are you???

I seriously LAUGHED OUT LOUD when I read this. So much that I typed it out instead of "LOL'ed" it. You are great, you know that??

So -- my questions:
-The stuffed portabellos sound divine. I won't say "when I am next in the states...." for fear you'll go back to hating Brazil. BUT, you left out the measurement for the cream -- 1/2 of ??? I assume 1/2 cup, but just checking.

On that other recipe, there are too many ingredients I need to look up, but I *think* it sounds good. I won't embarrass myself with details on that, but, umm, thanks.

(and, really, I don't miss cream of mushroom *that* much....)

The Mendon Foodie said...

Well, I thought the chestnut soup might be a bit out there for most people, but it is worth the effort, the ingredients aren't too hard to find in the states.

And yes, it is a 1/2 cup. Typing too fast before I left for work this am.

Try the portobellos. You can even use any mushroom large enough to stuff if you can't get portos. I'll let you.

Anonymous said...


I'm going with the first one this time, but I think I have enough for the pizza,late on in the week, too! I make a mean crust!

TexasHeather said...

Thanks for the pass, June! I can get baby portos.....that's about the biggest mushroom I can get. SIGH. I pay out the wazoo for the mushrooms I do get, too.....seriously sad.

I will try the stuffed 'shrooms, though; they sound awesome. And once I determine if I can find shallots and rutabagas and all those other things I don't know, maybe I'll try the soup. Next time it's cold. -Ha!-