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
Kitchen Equipment: Large heavy bottomed pot, wooden stirring spoon, sharp knife & cutting board, bread knife, medium mixing bowl, Immersion Blender or Standing Blender, whisk.
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
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.
– 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!
Note: the bones of this recipe were excavated from FineCooking.com