Walkin' With the Wild Woman

Come go for walk with the Wild Woman and see what you will find .....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Soup, Soup, and More Soup....

It seems I have created a stir with my  now "infamous"  Cream of Wild Mushroom soup - In all honesty. no one batch is ever exactly the same as the other for me.... I throw it together, I wrangle the ingredients around to fit what I have on hand, or am in the mood for. But  since so many have been asking, and frankly I am growing weary of making a pot of this a day for my friends and family, here's the recipe for this non heart healthy, full of fat and  mushroomy goodness soup


This is a simple soup, does very well in a crock pot, and leftovers make a great topping to biscuits, cornbread, or over leftover bits and pieces of cooked wild game with some noodles.

Here's where I have to insert the disclaimer that  all measurements are approximate.. I'm a by hand cook and just scoop out by hand and eye ball what looks right... heck I don't even know where my measuring cups are!

Mama G's Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

2 cups minimum of chopped wild mushrooms (any combination of what is currently flushing in your neighborhood or what you have preserved from an earlier season) - more than two cups is fine.. the more mushrooms the "meatier" the soup will be 

1 onion - diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 pound bacon
2 celery stalks
half a stick of butter
1/2 cup flour
two quarts half and half
white wine or juice from a jar pf pepperocini  for deglazing pan.
Seasonings and herbs to taste/preference

In a large heavy soup pot cook all bacon until crisp enough to break into bacon bits. Remove and set aside.
Place chopped onion, celery, and mushrooms in pot and saute in the bacon grease until soft/tender. Add butter if if there isn't quite enough bacon fat .

When mushrooms etc. are cooked through, add a splash or two of white wine (oh c'mon.. everybody has half a bottle or so in their fridge right?) or the juice from a jar of pepperocini to deglaze the pan and get all the little bits and pieces loose. Remove solids from pan.

If not enough fat is remaining in pan , add enough butter to have a good fat base to make a roux
use flour sprinkled in to and stirred constantly until a nice smooth blondish color  roux is formed.

When roux is complete, add half and half, slowly whisking it in to make a smooth  cream  soup base.
When base is complete,  add back in the cooked vegetables, mushrooms, and bacon crumbled into bits.

Bring to a boil  - stirring constantly - this stuff with stick and scorch if you aren't careful! Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or transfer to a crockpot on low.

This soup is just the base recipe. Switch around the herbs to match you individual taste and what you have on hand. For instance, use a commercial "steak seasoning mix ", and add in some left over venison roast. The variations are really truly endless.

Now at this juncture- I can already hear the roux making wailing and gnashing of teeth.. so there is an alternate quick "Hey lady - I ain't Martha Stewart or Top Chef" "  version.

Here's  the "It's hunting season and I do not have time for all this stirring and roux making " version.


1 stick butter
2 cups or more of chopped wild mushrooms
1 onion chopped
two celery stalks chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
seasonings of preference
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of celery soup
2 packages REAL bacon bits
2 quarts half and half
white wine for deglazing

Saute mushrooms, onion, garlic, celery, and seasonings of choice in the butter melted in a heavy soup pan. When vegetables and mushrooms are soft and cooked through, add roughly a 1/4 cup white wine to deglaze the pan,  add remaining ingredients , stirring constantly while adding them. Bring to a boil. Transfer to a crock pot set to low.  Head out the door to hunt.

This  is a great hearty winter soup that is always welcome in the colder months. The variations of herbs and add ins are endless, and the leftovers (if there are any)  can be used up to make casseroles, stroganoff etc. any way you would use a can of cream of mushroom soup only better!

My recent kick has been adding in  more Italian style seasonings, increasing the garlic a smidgen, and throwing in a bag of frozen three cheese tortellini - serve that with some warmed ciabatta bread, and you have a meal in a bowl, hearty enough to satisfy and warm the heart of anyone returning from a day in the frosty fields and forests. 

2 comments:

Made the non-Martha Stewart version yesterday afternoon.  Thanks to G for the oyster mushrooms!! :P
 
I have a rocking tortellini soup recipe that's fast and yummy!
 

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