Mushroom-Thyme Soup with Whole Wheat Croutons

Why is this creamy but not too rich mushroom soup weeknight (esp Monday night) perfect?Mushroom & Thyme Soup with Whole Wheat Croutons

1.) It’s chicken-broth based, making a perfect lighter but satisfying soup.

2.) The mushrooms are like butter to chop and cook down very quickly – this dish is less time consuming than other veggie forward soups.

3.) You’ll have leftovers for a healthy mid-week lunch or two.

4.) Mushrooms contain loads of potassium, making this a great rest day dinner after a longer Sunday workout.  I’ve also just learned that they are the only Vegan, non-fortified source of Vitamin D.  (Vitamin D is essential for Vegans and Carnivores alike for teeth and bone health, and is theorized to be helpful in preventing stress fractures).

Let’s be honest about the croutons – first and foremost, they round out the dish from a satiation standpoint!  These are garlicky and crunchy, otherwise known as super satisfying.  We had a half loaf of bread left over from the weekend and it made for perfect croutons.

Time: 1 Hour

Hands On-Time: 1 Hour

Servings: 4-6

Kitchen Equipment: Large heavy bottomed pot, wooden stirring spoon, sharp knife & cutting board, bread knife, medium mixing bowl, Immersion Blender or Standing Blender, whisk.

Ingredients:

For the Croutons: 

– 1 Garlic Clove, Smashed

– 1/4 Cup Olive Oil

– Pinch of Salt

– 1/2 Loaf Hearty Whole Wheat Bread

For the Soup:

– 2 Tbsp Butter

– 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

– 1 Medium Onion, Finely Diced

– 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced

– About 3/4 lb fresh mushrooms, trimmed.  I used half cremini and half shiitakes.

– 2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves, Plus 1 Tsp for Garnish

– 4 Cups Chicken Broth (Homemade if possible.)

– 1/4 Cup Half & Half

– 4 Tbsp Dry Sherry

– 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce

– Salt & Pepper

Steps:

First, a quick prep re the Croutons: Infusing the olive oil:

– Place the smashed garlic clove in a medium mixing bowl and add the olive oil plus the pinch of salt.  Set aside for now.

– Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.

On to the soup:

– Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.

– Add the onions and allow to cook until softened, about 4-6 minutes.  Stir occasionally, but not constantly.

– Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.

– Add the mushrooms, 2 tbsp of thyme, and a pinch each of salt & pepper.

– Stir to incorporate the onions & garlic with the mushrooms.  Cook until the mushrooms become soft & reduce down to approximately half, about 5-7 minutes.  Continue to stir occasionally.

– Add the broth.  If necessary, use the liquid to deglaze any bits from the side/bottom of the pot.  (For the sides – splash the broth onto the browned bits in a controlled fashion, and rub with the back/side of the spoon.  The bits will come off easily.)

– Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and let cook 10 – 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, continue the croutons:

– Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.

– Cut the 1/2 loaf into slices, then cut perpendicular to the crust to make sticks, then perpendicular again to make cubes.

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– Remove the garlic from the olive oil, and toss the bread cubes in the infused oil.

– Set the cubes on the prepared baking tray and bake at 350 Degrees for 8 minutes.

– Remove from oven & set aside to cool.

Back to the soup!

– Remove the simmering soup from heat.

– If using an Immersion (Hand-Held) Blender: submerge blender head into soup and blend for desired consistency.  You may wish to leave about half the mushrooms whole, or blend entire batch.  I opted for the latter.

– If using a stand Blender: allow the soup to cool for a few minutes.  Working in small batches, blend the soup to achieve desired consistency.  If you’d like to have some whole mushrooms in the soup, simply leave a portion of the batch in the pot.  I’d recommend blending a minimum of half the batch.  When done blending return all the soup to the pot.

– Add the half & half, sherry & soy sauce and gently whisk to throughly incorporate.  Prepare serving bowls during reheating or store right away in an airtight container in the fridge (for 4-5 days.)

Garnish with the remaining tsp of thyme and croutons.

Have a great week!

Mushroom Thyme Soup with Whole Wheat Croutons

 

Note: the bones of this recipe were excavated from FineCooking.com

 

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