Monday, April 26, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup w/Dried Mushrooms

When my sister brought me gifts from Japan, I was equally thrilled for the dried mushrooms as I was for the boxes of green tea! I am so lucky to have her. Instead of a thank you note, I made this soup for her. I think nothing is more heartwarming and tastes like home than homemade mushroom soup:-)

I used dried shiitake as they have a wonderful smoky flavor and a meaty texture. Don't worry if you don't have heavy cream at home, this recipe doesn't require cream. I promise no one will notice!

12 ounces of fresh mushrooms (sliced)
1 cup dried mushrooms (shiitake)
2 tbs butter (or canola oil)
4 tablespoon flour
 (I used white whole wheat)
4 cups of water (or chicken broth)
6 cups of milk (or you can use 3 cups of half and half 3 cups regular milk)
Salt and Pepper

1.Always wash the mushrooms before soaking to remove any unwanted grit. Some methods for reconstituting call for soaking in hot tap water for 20-30 minutes, while others suggest simmering for 30 minutes. Depending upon the thickness, type of mushroom, and quality, soaking times will vary, but the most consistent way to reconstitute is to boil water, then soak the mushrooms in the water for 20-30 minutes as it cools.
2.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and reserve the broth. Roughly chop the mushrooms.
3. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, whisk in the flour until smooth.
4. Pour in the reserved mushroom broth, and bring to a boil while whisking constantly (you can also use a hand blender).
4. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 20 min.
5. Whisk the milk, and salt into the soup and season with fresh grounded pepper to taste, bring to a boil and cook until thickened.
6. Divide among warm soup bowls and enjoy!

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