January 15, 2013

Get Well Mushroom Soup (Recipe)

The last time we spoke, I proudly proclaimed that one of the major reasons why posts were so few and far between during the holidays was because I wanted to spend time with my family.  This was true, but it wasn't the only thing keeping me away from the computer.  The stomach flu (which is not really a flu at all) rampaged through our house over Christmas break.  Wife works at a daycare, where all sorts of nasty germs are brought in each day, and she was the first to have it.  Our friend Grasshopper was next, ill on Christmas day.  Then Boy, then Mother-in-Law and finally (just as I though I'd escape,) me.  So as we all took turns quarantined in front of Netflix on the couch, I wasn't thinking much about artfully staged plates or which angle to stand to keep my shadow off of the onions.  Luckily the same couldn't be said for Wife.  

Apparently, I get some credit here.  Years ago, when we were vegetarians, Wife got ill and was craving chicken soup.  In a moment of inspiration that the current edition of me doesn't even remember, I made a mushroom broth.   Though it doesn't even register in my memory, it was so satisfying to my wife that she in turn praised it to her mother with such hyperbole that when Mother-in-Law was sick roughly a decade later, she requested it.  She had been reading online that mushrooms have all sorts of good stuff in them that help fight disease, and it triggered her memory.

But my credit ends there, because I wasn't available to make the soup.  Rather, Wife took up the challenge.  So this is her story.  She made up the recipe, and took the pictures too.  All I did was eat it, and of course accept the duty of transferring her stroke of genius to you.  I guarantee, if you are feeling under the weather this will help.

First, cook 3/4 of a cup of wild rice.  You could use regular rice, and if so you wouldn't need to get it started so much sooner than everything else, but wild rice adds a nice nutty flavor that really enhances the soup.  

That brings us to the mushrooms.  We like to work with Cremini mushrooms, as they tend to be a bit more flavorful than button mushrooms, but either would work, as well as a variety of mushrooms.  Depending on how potent you want this 'shroom brew to be, you can use anywhere between one to two pounds.  (We went with the latter.)  Wife took a picture of them as well, but I'm going to skip it because we've been cooking with mushrooms a lot at Catfish's Dishes lately, and I'm going to assume you know the drill:  cook in butter in small batches, browning on one side and then the other until they are golden.  Or as Wife put it; "just tell them to cook them like they were cooking meat."  
At the same time, in another pan with yet more butter, begin sauteing 1 medium onion (chopped,) 2 leeks (also chopped,) and 5 cloves of garlic (minced.)  Cook them on medium heat until the onions begin to get translucent, 5-10 minutes.   
In a large pot, bring three quarts of chicken (or vegetable) broth to a boil.  Add the sauteed vegetables and the mushrooms to the broth along with half a cup of chopped parsley and drop to a simmer.  Simmer for five minutes and then add the cooked rice and 3/4 of a cup of cream, as well as salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer five minutes longer, and serve piping hot.  I promise you, this hearty and flavorful soup will make you feel restored, or at least brighten up a cold winter's day.  


  1. Oh Jen that looks sooooo good! I will try this one. Thanks for sharing. I make a mushroom crust quiche and a mushroom lasagna that are good.

    1. I love quiche and lasagna. Any interest in guest posting?