Hearty, Healthy, Super Soups

Cream-of-mushroom-soupSoups can really pack a punch nutritionally if you keep the focus of on the ingredients.  They’re warm, hearty, healthy and can be their own class of soul-feeding super foods. Don’t know where to start and want to expand your usual repertoire of market purchases? February is a wonderful time to rekindle your love for mushrooms. Or, if they’re not already in your regular rotation of farmer’s market finds, it’s a great time to explore a potential love for mushrooms. There’s something about mushrooms’ earthy, rich, and varied flavors that seems to fit perfectly with the heart of winter. Not to mention, they are a great source of Vitamins B, C, and D, fiber, potassium, protein, and beta-glucans. San Francisco has quite an unconventional winter compared to much of the rest of the country, but it’s still a great time to warm up with a seasonally-appropriate hearty, earthy, steaming bowl of soup.

If your only encounter with mushroom soup has been of the creamed and Campbell variety, then you’re in for a wonderful surprise with this one. This is no creamy Campbell soup! The main actor here is mushrooms, mushrooms, and more mushrooms. No heavy cream, no mounds of flour, no arduous cooking process.

All it takes is:

  • a variety of mushrooms of your choosing, sliced with stems included
  • a couple of chopped garlic cloves
  • chopped onion or leeks
  • chopped cilantro, parsley, thyme or other preferred herbs
  • water or vegetable broth
  • pepper and salt

To prepare, cook mushrooms, garlic, and onions until mushrooms are sweating and cooked. Blend cooked mushrooms, cilantro (or other herbs), and vegetable broth or water. Return blended mixture to pot to reheat.  Add seasonings and additional broth as necessary. If you want, you can always add almond milk or a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken the soup if you do prefer the creamy, Campbell variety.  Serve yourself a heaping helping of this super soup, give it a little garnish, and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy and discover a new love for and appreciation of mushrooms!