Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recipe: Hearty Mushroom & Potato Soup

If you’re following me on Facebook and Twitter you know that I’m sick with the flu right now. Fortunately it’s not as serious as H1N1, but it is the flu and I do feel terrible. The crazy typhoon-driven storm we’ve been dealing with since last night hasn’t helped much to help me feel better either. To combat the cabin fever that has set in after being cooped up in my apartment since Friday after work, and, frankly, to change things up from the usual canned chicken noodle or even my Sick Person Soup, I thought I’d make something different. Through my cold medicine-induced haze I noticed I still hadn’t done anything with that pack of mushrooms and that there was Mire Poix just dying to be utilized after many summer months of being deemed unpopular. That PGEW device lodged somewhere in the far left corner of my cerebrum started making up potential recipes, and once I saw I had some potatoes to add to the mix I knew I would have a very delicious soup.

This soup is hearty enough to fall into the stew category, so it’s definitely nice and filling. You don’t need to use any fancy mushrooms or ingredients in this at all, so everyone (who isn’t anti-mushroom, of course) should be able to make this with no problem whatsoever. If the price is right compared to the whole vegetables and you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s in your neighborhood, I highly suggest picking up a tub of their Mire Poix to cut back on the prep time (which I don’t usually mind but when one’s sick you just want to eat and get it overwith). I list two different types of potatoes here because that’s all I had on hand, but if you want a consistent “look”, simply follow the notes in the recipe parentheticals.

Besides that there’s not too much to note on this one! Though the flavor would definitely be intensified by using crimini or porcini mushrooms, this is still quite tasty using the standard, more affordably priced white mushroom. If you can splurge on the other kinds of mushrooms, give ‘em a try! They can only enhance the recipe. Otherwise, pat yourself on the back for knowing how to make a great, filling (even vegetarian) soup that will keep everyone warm without having to break the bank. :) Yet another example of why you should never understimate the power of soup.

Hearty Mushroom & Potato Soup (serves 4; total cost per serving: $1.60)

2 c Mire Poix (finely chopped carrots, celery and yellow onions), divided
1 8 oz. package white mushrooms
1 medium Russet potato, diced into ½” cubes
2 medium red potatoes, diced into ½” cubes (you may also use 4 red potatoes or 2 medium Russets if that’s all you have)
1 14 oz. can of chicken or vegetable broth
1 c milk
1 T butter
2 garlic, minced
½ t salt
½ t ground black pepper
¼ t thyme
¼ t tarragon
1 T olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste (for the finished product)
½ c fresh spinach, chopped (for garnish)

Divide the package of mushrooms in half. Finely chop one half of the mushrooms and slice the other half into 1/4“ thick pieces. Set the mushrooms slices aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add one cup of mire poix and the chopped mushrooms, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables have begun to soften. Add the broth and cook for about 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat, add the cup of milk and puree in a blender until smooth (you may also use a hand blender if that’s all you have, like me). Set aside. Remember to use caution when pureeing hot liquids.

In a large pot heat the olive oil and the garlic over medium high heat until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the diced potatoes, salt, pepper and herbs, and cook until the potatoes just begin to brown. Reduce heat and add the remaining cup of mire poix. Cook for 3 minutes and add the thick mushroom broth. Simmer over medium low heat for about 5-7 minutes. Finally, add the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to soften.

Spoon generous amounts of the soup into large bowls. Add some chopped spinach and plenty of freshly ground black pepper on top, serve with thick slices of warm, crusty bread if you like, and enjoy!

30 comments:

  1. MMM! This sounds awesome! :)

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  2. Heh, see? toldja! This stuff looks awesome, but it will never find its way into my kitchen. Damn fiance hates mushrooms! Oh well, i may make it anyway :)

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  3. It could always find its way into your lunch menu so he doesn't have to see, lol. What is it w/men and their mushroom hatred anyway?

    Can you shed some light on this, men of PGEW? All 4 of you must have some thoughts on this! ;)

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  4. I'm a man, and I love mushrooms; this recipe looks fantastic.

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  5. Good to hear from you, Mr. Mushroom Lover! Makes me happy to know my guy readers are actively reading and cooking! :)

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  6. This looks so delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

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  7. i'm a mushroom mad too...oh and (if you hadn't already guessed by my name) i am male too :)
    However alot of my male friends hate mushrooms too, not sure why though.
    I'm from England and i think what you call 'white mushrooms' we call 'closed cup' mushrooms, personally for this dish I would probably go for Chesnut Mushrooms, thanks for the post though, looks delicious!
    My kids still hate mushrooms with a passion though, i'm sure i could cut theirs up small enough so they would'nt notice ;)

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  8. I'm also a man and have a passionate distrust of those who are mushroomless. Don't get me started on people who hate cheese.

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  9. Just what i was planning on making today, soup.... glad i clicked on this site, the soup sounds awesome. I will make it.
    Thanks.

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  10. I think my early dislike of mushrooms stemmed from abuse of the slimy and disgusting canned mushroom. Since I have discovered the fresher world of shrooms, Im now a huge fan. And i will be making this dish tonight :)

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  11. The flu is more serious than the H1N1.

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  12. Oh this looks like some great tasting soup! Hope it makes you feel better soon :-)

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  13. I am male. My father and I both love mushrooms. Most mushroom haters I know are female. One such friend describes eating a cooked mushroom as chewing on a rotten earlobe. *shrug*

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  14. I saw this post yesterday and ran out to get a package of mushrooms just so I could make it for dinner! I used fresh veggies for the base, and added in half of the chopped mushrooms and a potato, then blended that all together for a thick, hearty broth base. Both my boys said they liked it!

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  15. Don't trust anyone who doesn't like shrooms.I just made this today and have some on my shirt,it tastes as good as it looks and it's now on my twice a month rotation.Simply a wonderful soup and a good way to use up those extra mushrooms(I used baby bellas),thank you

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  16. Wow! Thanks, everyone! I'm so glad you're all digging this!

    And to the reader who got soup on their shirt (quite the compliment from a cook's point of view), I apologize and would buy you a new one if I could. :)

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  17. This looks DELICIOUS! I'm stuck home with the flu too. Looks like hubby is going out for groceries tonight!

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  18. Looks delicious! I'm gonna make this in a few days. By the way, my husband worships mushrooms! We eat mushrooms with meals about 5 times a week. mmmm, Feel better!!

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  19. Im just stumbling through.. but Im reading all the comments.. and I realized that only 1.. ONE person..said.. "feel better". NO ONE even inquired as to your health.. or how you are getting along. Huh. That goes to show you the state of the Union today. Ha. Anway.. the soup looks GRAND.. and now, every time I make it.. I'll HAVE to think about you...and always remember that I was concerned, about some stranger that I bugged a recipe from. Hahaha. Ahh. Technology at its finest! Hope you recovered..... Best wishes. C Mac

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  20. Loving all the posts from mushroom loving men. :) My son is 11 and had vowed hatred of all things mushroom until about 6 months ago. He loves Gordon Ramsay and begged me to make a GR recipe. I did Beef Wellington...which has mushrooms. But, the shrooms are ground into a paste so he didn't know until he was done and begging for more of the "crumbly brown stuff..."

    Then, last month he had spaghetti with marinara that happened to have baby button mushrooms in it. He LOVED it!

    Making your soup tonight...I'm sure he'll enjoy this too. :)

    Hope you are feeling better by now...saw your posts on FB about not feeling well. :(

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  21. Thanks for the recipe and I can't wait to try it. However, I'm a little curious as to how you came up with $1.60 per serving. I guess you must be assuming that all you have to buy is the produce? Thyme, tarragon and olive oil are not really cheap. Even if you get the smallest quantity possible, those 3 by themselves will run you over $10 easily.

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  22. Good question, Poor! I do not count purchasing whole bottles of spices or things like oil or vinegar when it comes to my price breakdowns. However, if you check out Tip #2 in my Tips section, you will see that even herbs & spices can be affordable if you know where to shop. For more info on price breakdowns, check out my FAQs page. Thanks for writing in and I hope you like the recipe!

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  23. One more quick clarification: though I don't count the WHOLE bottles of spices, herbs, etc., I do still factor in the cost of the amount of each items that I use, so all of that is factored in to the cost per serving. Hope that helps!

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  24. I made this on Friday for my girlfriend, who is vegan (which I'm not). I used rice milk instead of milk, vegan butter substitute, and vegetable broth instead of chicken, and it came out delicious, especially with thick slabs of sourdough bread to go with it. I'm ready to make it again ASAP!

    Hope you're feeling better!

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  25. I just recently discovered mire poix, and I fear that it's going to start making its way into every single dish I make.

    I have most of the ingredients for this on hand and have been craving a stew lately, so I may just give this a whirl for dinner tomorrow night. Thanks for another great recipe :)

    Hope you feel better soon!

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  26. this is just a great soup and i bought mushrooms and potatoes.. this soup will be perfect

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  27. I made this last night as it was very good. My boyfriend liked it too! It is unfortunate though that no stores sell mirepoix out in the country, that would've made the recipe so easy!

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  28. I made this last night with my boyfriend, and it was delicious! Thank you!

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  29. Kimberly ~ You're 2 for 2. The soup rocks! and the spinach, added at the end, did it justice.

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  30. Love the title of this blog. Great recipes including this soup for a cold winter's evening.

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