Friday, August 26, 2011

Creamy Mushroom Soup with Hearty Vegetables

I’ve been on a serious soup kick lately. I love that I can throw just about any kind of vegetable and spice in there and have it turn out great. They make for a healthy lunch or dinner, and are easy for Dustin to take to work with him. This also prevents him from taking raw potatoes, which is really an embarrassment for both of us.

I started making vegetable stew the way I always do, dice an onion, start to cry, rub my eyes and make it worse, curse the existence of onions…etc. I reached in the fridge to get out the carrots and zucchini, and spotted the leftover mushrooms from the Veggie Lasagna I had just made.

Mushrooms are one of my absolute favorite foods (my apologies to my dear friend Shannon, who mortally hates mushrooms in all capacities). I love how spongy and chewy they are, and how beautifully they blend into just about anything. However, I’ve never tried putting them in soup before. I decided to give it a try, and here are the results.

Getting Started:

Fresh Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme
I started by throwing my usual ingredients into the crockpot, which recently earned a permanent place on the countertop. I chopped 2 zucchini, 2 large potatoes, and 1 large carrot into chunky pieces and threw them into the crockpot along with almost a full can of vegetable broth (I reserved about 1/4 cup for the mushrooms) and some leftover frozen peas. Usually I peel the potatoes and carrots, but I decided not to this time to capture their rustic qualities. Next I chopped up the onion, garlic, and mushrooms for sautéing.

Sauteeing the Mushrooms:

Mushroom, Mushroom!!!
First I sautéed the onion in a little olive oil, then added the garlic, mushrooms, butter, 1/2 salt, and pepper. After the mushrooms were fully cooked, I added in the reserved vegetable broth and continued cooking until it was mostly evaporated (the smell at this point made me want to abandon my idea and eat a bowl of sautéed mushrooms for dinner...somehow I resisted!). I then added the heavy cream, herbs, and about 2 tbs of flour, and let simmer for another minute or so. Tip: mix the flour with water or some of the broth before adding it in, so it won’t be lumpy.

Putting it All Together:

I added the mushroom mixture into the crockpot along with some more vegetable broth and a little more flour, and let it cook for about 4 hours on high. It turned out so much better than I expected! In hindsight I would have also added some sautéed celery, but I didn’t have any this time. It wasn’t like any creamy soup I’ve had before because I mixed it with broth, but nevertheless I thought it was pretty good and very flavorful.


          2 large russet potatoes, skin on
          1 large carrot, skin on
          2 zucchinis
          1/3 cup frozen peas
          2 cans of vegetable broth (15.5 oz)
          1 yellow onion
          1 garlic clove
          2 tsp olive oil
          1 sprig of fresh thyme, finely chopped
          1 sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped (remove from stem by pulling against the grain)
          2 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
          8oz package of white mushrooms, sliced
          1 regular sized package of shitake mushrooms, sliced
          1 tbs butter
          Half pint container of heavy cream (the itty bitty one)
          2 tsp coarse salt (1/2 for the mushrooms, and the other half in the soup)
          1-2 tsp black pepper (to taste)
          4-6 Tbs all purpose flour

Additional Notes:

What gets stuck in my head every time I cook mushrooms:

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  1. This looks delicious! What do you mean by cans of 'vegetable broth'? Is this the same as stock? Also how many people do you think this recipe serves?

  2. Thank you! I use a vegetable broth, but from what I understand, stock and broth are the same thing (for vegetables anyway), so you should be able to use stock if that's what you have.

    As for the servings, I haven't officially measured, but I think it could easily serve 6-8. My husband and I usually get a few meals out of it before it's all gone.

    Thanks so much for the question, and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  3. Success! I used your recipe but didn't have time to use the crock pot so just boiled it on the stove like normal soup. Those mushrooms smelled amazing!! I think i might have to make them for brekky or something soon, just on their own. :)