June 22, 2010

Roasted cream of mushroom soup

The abundance and variety of beautiful mushrooms at our local grocery store has been wonderful lately. As a kid, I disliked mushrooms... a lot! I could not stand them. But as an adult, I love mushrooms. I think it had a lot to do with the texture and that most of my mushroom exposure as a child was of the canned variety. My husband has begun learning how to identify and forage for edible mushrooms, too, which is awesome. This soup contained a variety of mushrooms - button, oyster, baby portabella, and trumpet. I just grabbed a whole bunch of whatever looked good.

Roasted cream of mushroom soup
about 2 lbs of mushrooms of your choice
1 medium to large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
4 cups of mushroom stock (or chicken stock)
about 1 cup water
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
about 1/4 to 1/3 cup half and half
sea salt and lots of fresh cracked black pepper
olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread the mushrooms, onion, and garlic evenly among 2 baking sheets. Cut larger mushrooms in half. Drizzle with olive oil and add some pepper. When the oven is hot, roast the vegetables for about 30 minutes, or until they are soft and brown. In a soup pot, add the vegetables (squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin), stock, water, salt, pepper, thyme, and paprika. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Then turn off heat. Puree the soup to your desired consistency using an immersion blender (or by doing it in batches in a blender). After the soup is pureed, add the half and half until the soup reaches your desired creaminess. Return to heat and warm the soup until just hot (don't boil). Serve immediately topped with an extra sprinkle of paprika and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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