Carrying on with the focus on soups for National Soup Month, I am making a few of our family favourites. There is honestly nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of hot soup on a cold winter's day. It's been cold and grey here with freezing rain adding a chilly dampness to the air, perfect soup weather.
The beauty of making soup is its simplicity. You don't need special equipment, fancy ingredients or even a lot of time. I recommend using a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time of long simmer soups but you don't need too. There are actual soup cookers (blender with heating element) and blenders (blade friction) that make soup as well. Soup cookers tend to have bad reviews and the blenders are pricey. Soups can also be made in the slow cooker. A blender or stick blender is useful if you want to make smooth soups. I personally use a food strainer to make purée soup bases. However, the only real equipment you need to make delicious homemade soups is a large pot and stirring spoon.
This is the time of year I focus on reducing pantry and freezer supplies in preparation for the new growing season. My homemade soups this month have something from the pantry (stock, vegetables) and something from the freezer (meat, vegetables, miscellaneous). Local mushrooms are available year round making them the perfect ingredient in many of my dishes. Their mild, creamy flavour never disappoints! I made a delicious cream of roasted garlic mushroom soup, a slight spin on our traditional homemade cream of mushroom soup.
Note: Roasted garlic freezes nicely so I roast several bulbs then freeze in 15 ml (1 tbsp) portions for use later.
Cream of Roasted Garlic Mushroom Soup
recipe by: Garden Gnome
1 kg white mushrooms
1 large sweet onion
30 ml roasted garlic
1 L mushroom stock
15 ml olive oil
60 ml butter
750 ml whole milk 3.25% M.F.
250 ml half & half 10% M.F
30 ml organic white flour
salt/pepper to taste
Wash and slice mushrooms. Chop onion. Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot. Stir in onions and mushrooms. Cook on medium low heat until mushrooms are cooked through, stirring often. Stir in the mushroom stock and bayleaf. Increase heat. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat. Stir in milk and half & half. Bring to a simmer. Put the flour in a small ramekin. Sprinkle a dash of salt and two dashes of pepper on top. Mix with a fork. Add enough water or milk to make a smooth slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the soup stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Serve.