Soup is such a comfort food, but to me, it’s also comfort cooking. There’s just something about standing over a hot, bubbling, (usually) garlic-scented pot, adding and stirring, until something delicious is ready to serve. It makes the whole house smell incredible, and it’s like a giant bear hug for anyone who eats it. What better soup to bear hug them with than homemade cream of mushroom?
This is a simple soup to put together, but somehow it seems impressive. The delicate wine and thyme flavors bring a little bit of elegance to a very familiar soup. This would make a great first course for a holiday meal. You could even make it the day before your big meal and reheat it slowly on the stove just before you’d like to serve it. Or, serve it in larger portions with some crusty garlic bread for a main course on any cold winter’s night you like.
- 4 T. unsalted butter
- 3 T. olive oil
- 2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 8 oz. button mushrooms, chopped
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 3 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 cups half and half
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 T. chopped fresh chives
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and thyme to the pot, stir well, and cook until the mushrooms’ liquid has cooked off and they are tender and brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Sprinkle in the flour, stir until it’s totally dissolved, and cook for about a minute. Pour in the wine, stir well, and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the wine is slightly reduced.
- Pour in the beef stock and chicken stock, and stir in the salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, blend until the mushrooms are chopped but not totally pureed.
- Add the half and half and cook (without boiling) just until heated through. Add the parsley and chives, and serve hot.
Adapted from Ina Garten.