Farmer's Table: Creamy Mushroom Gruyère Soup

Cream of mushroom soup is a common type of condensed canned soup that can be thinned with additional milk and eaten as a meal, or it can be used as a sauce in casseroles and other dishes.

Creamy mushroom soup originated long before the canned version. For hundreds of years, cream sauces have been used in Italy and France as the base for soups. It wasn’t until 1934, that the Campbell Soup Company began producing its Cream of Mushroom Soup, which became wildly popular in America.

If you enjoy mushroom soup that is rich and flavorful, it is easy to make at home. You will readily see that homemade mushroom soup has a freshness that cannot be matched with what comes from a can.

This is the time of year, when I have most of the ingredients on hand that are needed for this mushroom soup recipe. Our shiitake logs are producing, and I found some beautiful locally grown leeks at The Wild Ramp in Huntington. I added homegrown Russian garlic and fresh thyme from my cottage herb garden. We usually have dried Polish mushrooms and heavy cream on hand, making this soup one that can be assembled for a quick meal.

Once you’ve tasted this easy, homemade soup that is bursting with mushroom flavor, you may never buy another can of condensed mushroom soup. I found the meaty texture of sliced shiitake gave this soup a nice, earthy taste that lingers on the palate.

You can substitute other mushrooms for the shiitake, if they are not available. You may want to substitute rosemary for the thyme, or, if those flavors are too overpowering, you could just add some fresh parsley.

This satisfying, creamy mushroom soup recipe could easily become one of your favorite fall meals. For my family, it is the perfect comfort food.

Creamy Mushroom Gruyère Soup

Ingredients:

½ cup dried porcini mushrooms

2 cups boiling water

1 leek 9 (white and green parts) sliced crosswise into moons

1 clove garlic, minced

6 tablespoons butter, divided

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

4 cups chicken broth

6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced

½ cup heavy cream

4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded

Preparation:

Place porcini in a bowl and pour boiling water over. Let stand until rehydrated -- about 30 minutes.

In a medium soup pot, gently sauté sliced leek and minced garlic in 3 tablespoons butter. Cook until leeks soften. Do not allow them to brown.

Stir in thyme leaves, flour, salt and pepper.

Add chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil.

Strain the porcini liquid and add to the pot.

Chop rehydrated porcini into bite-size pieces. Add the porcini to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool soup and process in a blender until smooth. There will still be flecks of porcini mushrooms in the broth. Return soup to the pot.

In a skillet, sauté sliced shiitake in remaining 3 tablespoons butter until lightly browned. Add them to the soup and bring mixture back to a boil.

Lower the heat and add cream and cheese, constantly stirring until cheese has melted.

For questions about recipes or other information, contact Susan Maslowski at mudriverpottery@aol.com or go to metrokanawha.com. Susan also has a Farmer’s Table Facebook page.

Funerals for Sunday, October 20, 2019

Fink, Janice - 1:30 p.m., United Disciples of Christ Church, South Charleston.

Honaker, Dewey - 2 p.m., Arnett Assembly of God Church, Arnett.

Jenkins, Tina - 2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Payne, Joseph - 3 p.m., Gateway Christian Church, St. Albans.

Snyder, Janice - 4 p.m., Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.

Vance, Kendall - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.