Wild and Button Mushroom Soup

We have had a very mild winter this season, with temperatures hovering around 7- 9 C. It didn’t really feel like winter till this weekend. This weekend PNW finally got snow! A cold winter day and a bowl of warm soup are a match made in heaven. So, this weekend I made this rich and creamy wild and button mushroom soup. This keto friendly soup is full of earthy flavour from a mix of dried and fresh mushrooms.

Of all the cream soups, cream of mushroom soup is my family’s favourite soup. I have been guilty of feeding my family the canned condensed cream of mushroom soup many times. Till I started my keto journey, it has been a staple in my pantry, and I have used it to make many creamy and savory pasta, chicken or rice dishes. Not anymore!

 My family loves mushrooms and I always keep a pack or two of button or cremini mushrooms in my refrigerator. For wild mushrooms, I used dry mushrooms, that I rehydrated by rinsing and then soaking in hot water. I would highly recommend you keep a box of dehydrated mushrooms in your pantry. They are very versatile and come in handy for adding to all things meat or vegetarian or vegan. One of my favourite snacks is crunchy mushrooms. Rehydrate the dry mushrooms, squeeze excess water and pan fry them to a crisp and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder for a quick keto munchy! They make a nice topping for the soup as well.

Coming back to the soup, it is a very easy soup to make and comes together rather quickly. Once you make it from scratch, you will wonder, why in the world would anyone ever eat the canned condensed one.

Other than mushrooms, the recipe calls for heavy cream (duh), cream cheese, stock/broth, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and fresh THYME. Of course, you can use dried thyme, but the flavour of fresh thyme is just amazing. It is one herb, that doesn’t need much care, is perennial and survives the winters of PNW. You can use fresh garlic cloves and onion, if you are not watching your carb intake.

Ingredients:

1 lb Button Mushrooms

2 cups Dried Mushrooms

2 Cups Hot water (to rehydrate the dry mushrooms)

2 Cups Chicken or vegetable Stock or Water

½ Cup Heavy Cream

4 Tbsp Cream cheese

2 Tbsp + 1 Tsp Butter

1 Tbsp Garlic Powder or 2-3 Cloves of Garlic

2 Tbsp Dehydrated Onion or a small onion, finely chopped

A small Bunch of Thyme, or 1 Tbsp Dried Thyme

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Rinse the dried mushrooms and soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Rinse and pat dry button mushrooms and chop them finely.
  3. Melt butter in a heavy bottom pot and add chopped mushrooms to it. Cook them on high heat till they sweat and release all the liquid.
  4. Add a pinch of salt, garlic powder, onion powder and thyme, and continue to cook them till all the liquid evaporates.
  5. Remove the dried mushrooms from water. Save a small handful on the side. Add rest of them to the pan. Save the water from the dried mushrooms, to add to the soup for extra flavour.
  6. Continue to cook for a minute or two. Add Stock and or the water from dried mushrooms. Bring it to a boil.
  7. Take half the mushrooms out. Add cream cheese to the pot and puree with rest of the mushrooms with an immersion blender or in a high-speed blender.
  8. Add the mushrooms back to the pot, along with cream. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, till desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. In a separate pan add a tsp of butter. Add the remaining dried mushrooms and cook at medium heat, stirring often. Add salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, till they become nice and crunchy.
  10. To serve, ladle hot soup in a wide mug or a bowl and top with the crunchy mushrooms. Enjoy!

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