Thursday, December 10, 2009

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Soup: Warms the belly and soothes the soul!

I have great associations with mushroom soup. My mom made it for us as kids; I remember steaming bowls of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom for winter lunches. Later, as a teenager, it was the only thing that satisfied the late-night post-party hungries. How many times did my best friend and I tiptoe into the kitchen after midnight, stifling giggles as we heated soup and searched for crackers? Too many to count.

I am not all that interested in the tinned variety anymore (though I confess, a can or two of the low-fat condensed Campbell's can usually be found in my cupboard, waiting to be called into service for a shortcut dinner). And yeah I don't claim to have unerringly sophisticated taste buds - I can still appreciate a wedge of Velveeta just as much as brie. But when it comes to cream of mushroom soup, this grown-up version is so delicious, it's not even in the same stratosphere as the canned stuff. And adapted to be low-fat, too! The skim milk powder adds richness without the fat; the sherry adds a new dimension of flavour to balance the creaminess. It's satisfying and earthy and you should really make it.

Creamy Mushroom Soup for Two

1/3C dried mushrooms
1C chicken stock
4 large white mushrooms, chopped
1/4C shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp flour (I like the gluten-free garbonzo bean flour, but any is fine)
1C low-fat milk (1%)
1 Tbsp skim milk powder
1/4 tsp dried italian herbs or herbs de provence
1/4C dry sherry or red wine
cracked black pepper
sea salt
1/4C italian parsley, finely chopped

Microwave the chicken stock in a glass bowl and when it's boiling, remove and crumble in the dried mushrooms. Steep until ready to use.In a large non-stick saucepan, spray the bottom with cooking spray or add a touch of olive oil and heat on medium. Add in shallot, chopped mushrooms, and garlic and saute until lightly browned.Add in a few rablespoons of the mushroom liquid. Before it's completely absorbed (gotta pick up the pace here), sprinkle in the flour and mix around well. Cook for about one minute, then gradually add in all the mushrooms and liquid while constantly stirring.Don't just dump it all in or you'll get lumps; you want to add the liquid a little at a time at first. Slow, then fast. Got it?

Dissolve the milk powder in the milk. Add to pot, along with herbs, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, adding the sherry or wine after 5. Add cracked pepper and salt to taste, if you are fancy like me you will have some nice pink peppercorns to crush and thrown in there as well. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Thin with a little water if it's too thick ( I usually add about 1/4C or so). Done and done! See, yummy AND low-fat AND easy. Ahhhhh!

Nutritional info: Half the recipe is 127 calories, 1.4g fat, 12g protein, 16g carbs, .5g fibre, 415mg sodium.


  1. Oh, my goodness, I love mushroom soup and had mentally crossed it off my list as being too "bad" for me...I may actually try this!

  2. It's very tasty, but cleaner-tasting without all the fat from cream. Let me know if you try it, how you like it!