Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

homemade cream of mushroom soup | sunsets on the side

homemade cream of mushroom soup | sunsets on the side

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.

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
 
Author:
Makes: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Using an immersion blender, blend until the mushrooms are chopped but not totally pureed.
  6. 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.

Goat Cheese, Leek & Fresh Tomato Pizza

goat-cheese-leek-fresh-tomato-pizza

goat-cheese-leek-fresh-tomato-pizza

The thought of pizza makes me hungry.

The thought of homemade pizza makes me happy and nostalgic.

And hungry.

I was a lucky kid for many reasons.  (I could list those reasons for you, but that’s not why we’re here.  We’re here for the pizza).  One reason was that my mom made pizza with homemade dough ALL. THE. TIME.  Seriously.  It was awesome.  Of course, when I was a kid, I didn’t really see the novelty of this, so I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have at the time.  But, that’s neither here nor there.  I totally appreciate it now!

The toppings here are my creation.  But, the dough?  The dough is my mom’s recipe.  It really is so simple and inexpensive to make your own pizza dough.  And, there’s something therapeutic about all that kneading.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you must.

This pizza, considering the cream sauce, is surprisingly light.  I love the flavor of leeks, and when you combine a leek sauce with fresh tomatoes and crumbly goat cheese, you get a pretty bright result.  You can adjust the type of pan and baking times to your liking.  I like a sturdy, almost crunchy crust, so that’s what the times in this recipe will give you.  I also used a round pizza pan that has holes in the bottom (like this one), so that choice added to the extra firm crust as well.

Ok, let’s get to it!

Goat Cheese, Leek & Fresh Tomato Pizza
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ~~~Pizza dough~~~
  • 1 ( ¼ oz. ) envelope rapid rise dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup warm water, divided
  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ~~~Pizza topping~~~
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 leeks (white and light green parts), thoroughly cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and sliced
  • ½ - 1 cup grated mozzarella or fontina cheese
  • 8 large basil leaves, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. For the dough: Mix the yeast, sugar, and ¼ cup of the warm water together, and let sit for 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the flour, olive oil, salt and remaining ¾ cup warm water together in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Stir well and then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 7-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Drizzle some olive oil in a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it over so it is all coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let the dough rise until double in size (mine took a little more than an hour).
  4. For the topping: Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 7-8 minutes until they’ve softened and started to brown. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  5. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Off the heat, add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  7. Shape the dough onto a baking pan (16” round or 12x18” cookie sheet). Leaving a 1” border, poke the middle of the crust multiple times with a fork so it doesn’t rise too much during the first baking. Bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Top with leek sauce, again leaving a 1” border around the outside. Top with sliced tomatoes, and crumble the goat cheese evenly over top. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Place shredded cheese on at the last minute and melt. Garnish with chopped basil.