Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cream of Mushroom Soup With Chicken

I have been craving cream of mushroom soup for a few weeks now, and not just any cream of mushroom soup, I wanted homemade cream of mushroom soup. The fact that I've never had it before didn't stop the craving, in fact I venture to say that it made it worse, because my imagination gets carried away all the time every once in a while. I LOVE mushrooms. The flavor, the smell, the texture, and most of all the taste. So yes, I had to give in and figure out how to make this dream a reality.

I started with some research into other recipes to see how other chefs do it. Basically every one of them used heavy cream which although VERY delicious has 11 grams of fat for a 2 TBSP serving size so I had to look elsewhere to achieve the creaminess I needed. When I went to the grocery store I discovered they have low fat half and half, only 1.5 grams of fat per 2 TBSP serving, so I was sold :)

The line up:

Mushrooms : Portabella, shiitake and trusty old button mushrooms. In total I had about 2 lbs.
1 quart of low fat half and half
One fresh chicken

**Supporting Cast**
One onion
4 cloves of fresh garlic
2 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP ground thyme
salt/pepper to taste
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP onion powder
1/4 cup chicken seasoning
1 cup of flour

Give your bird a rinse and set him into your soup pot. Cover with water. Then add all the supporting cast of ingredients (except the flour) and give everything a stir. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer, cover with pot lid, and let cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

While the chicken is boiling get your mushrooms cut into chunks and fry them until they have developed golden brown edges.

After the chicken is done, take it out with 2 big spoons or spatulas and set onto a cookie tray, open up the meat to let it cool off. If you have an immersion blender dump about 2/3 of your fried mushrooms into the pot with the broth left from the chicken and then use the immersion blender to get everything to the consistency you want. If you don't have an immersion blender put 2/3 of the fried mushrooms into a regular blender and then use a ladle to get just enough broth to pulverize to the consistency you want. then dump it back into the soup pot. Pick the chicken meat off the bones and add to soup pot. Now add the last 1/3 of the mushroom pieces back to the soup too.

Now to thicken the soup and add creaminess put your flour into a bowl and add the half and half in batches, mixing well between each addition. first addition should make a paste, like the picture above and then with each added one it will become more and more liquidy. This will prevent lumps. After you have the quart of half and half mixed with the flour, just pour it into the soup pot while stiring. Bring the soup back up to a boil and it will thicken slightly.

There you have it, my first attempt at healthy homemade cream of mushroom soup. Don't forget to taste your soup before you serve it and feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste. This was a very good recipe it was warm, comforting, savory soupy goodness.  The low fat half and half was WONDERFUL! I couldn't even tell it was a low fat soup. Even my picky 14 month old gobbled it all up! We served it with a crusty loaf of poppy seed dill bread from the bakery, yuuuuuum!

What I would do differently next time: I would use more mushrooms!!! I could taste the mushrooms and they were lovely just not enough for me so honestly I would at least double it next time.

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