Cream Of Mushroom And Onion Soup
With cold days still in March it’s great to have a warming homemade soup. Along with great taste, mushrooms, onions, and garlic have some very specific health benefits. Eating the white button mushroom reduces the risk of breast and prostate cancer. An extract of white button mushrooms is equivalent to eating 3.5 ounces a day and has been shown to exhibit a decrease in existing tumor size. Shitake mushrooms have been used for centuries by the Chinese and Japanese to boost the immune system, and contain small amounts of vitamin D. Both onions and garlic are anti-inflammatory. Onions contain quercetin which is a potent antioxidant. The quercetin in onions does not degrade with heat in soups; it is only transferred into the broth. Onions are also a good source of chromium which is useful for a healthy blood sugar balance.
Cream of Mushroom and Onion Soup
1 Tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion
1 lb. mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup butter plus 1 tablespoon
1/3 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup cream (I use whipping)
Chop the onion, mushroom, and garlic. Add the 1 tablespoon of butter to a heavy-bottomed pot large enough for the soup. Melt the butter on medium/low heat and add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic to sauté. Sauté the mixture until the mushrooms are just starting to brown and the onions are beginning to caramelize. Pour the onion, mushroom, and garlic mixture into a bowl. Use the same pot, to melt the 1/4 cup butter. When the butter begins to slightly foam, stir in the flour. This creates a roux, and it is the base for thickening the soup. Stir the flour-butter mixture until all the flour is dissolved and it is heated through. Begin adding the liquid 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition with a whisk until all of the stock has been added. You can use a homemade bone broth for the stock, or if you purchase stock be sure to check that the ingredients are all basic foods and free of food additives. I have found the brand Kitchen Basics is free of additives and allergens. If you add the broth too quickly, you will have to wait, stirring, for the temperature to rise for the soup to thicken. The amount of salt you add will depend if the broth already has salt in it or if it is sodium free. When the base is prepared add the spices, the sautéed onion, mushroom and garlic mixture back into the pot and heat thoroughly. Stir in the cream just before serving. Makes 4 servings. This soup also makes a wonderful topping for potatoes, noodles or rice. For thicker gravy instead of a soup increase the flour to ½ cup and cut the stock down to 3 cups. If you are allergic to dairy the cream can be left out with excellent results. Beef broth can also be substituted instead of chicken broth for a rich flavor variation.