Cream of Mushroom Soup

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: soup

So many “recipes” call for a can or two of mushroom soup. Here’s how to make a big batch to freeze so that you’re not a slave to the can opener. It tastes loads better, too.

Makes about 20 cups (equivalent to about a dozen cans of soup).

  • 2 pounds mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 bundle green onions, chopped
  • 1 stick (1/4 lb) butter

Saute the mushrooms and green onions together in as big a frying pan as you can find.

Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, make a cream base by melting the butter, frying the flour (a roux), and adding the liquid.

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 pint heavy cream (or half and half)
  • 2 quarts milk (whole or skim or anywhere in between, up to you!)

as the cream base is coming to a boil and thickening, add the mushrooms and onions, and season to taste with whatever combination of salt, garlic, or pepper that suits your fancy.

As the mixture comes to a boil, it will start thickening. If you’re just looking for soup, you can stop here. If you’re looking for a creamy sauce to use in other recipes, thicken it a little more with some cornstarch:

  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup of water

Mix the two until they for a light slurry and then mix into the soup and let boil for a few more minutes.

From here, you can freeze or use it. 1.5 and 3-cup portions work well for recipes, roughly analogous to 1 or 2 cans of the stuff with the red label.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: soup

This evening was cool and rainy. Perfect soup weather. At lunch, I’d had some Baja Enchilada soup at Planet Sub, and was inspired.

To do this properly takes about 2 days**

Day 1:

  1. Obtain a rotisserie chicken from your favourite purveyor of such things. I’m a big fan of Costco. You can make your own, too, if so inclined (and equipped).
  2. Eat the chicken for dinner.
  3. Boil the carcass for about an hour in 2 quarts of water and put the whole thing in the fridge overnight.

Day 2:

  1. Take the chicken in a pot out of the fridge.
  2. Scoop the solidified fat from the top of the pot and put in your soup pot.
  3. Using a colander, separate the chunks of chicken from the broth
  4. Remove any chunks that don’t strike you as edible.
  5. Put the edible bits back in the broth and set aside
  6. Finely chop up:
    1. an onion (I’ll leave it up to you how big)
    2. a red pepper (or two)
    3. garlic (how much depends on your individual taste and the current level of vampire activity in your area)
    4. green chiles (or you can cheat and use them from a can)
    5. Maybe even some jalapenos if you’re feeling wild
  7. Heat the chicken fat and sauté the vegetables in it. If your chicken was lean, you may want to add some olive oil, you’re going to need about 4-6 tablespoons worth of fat for the roux.
  8. Add 3/4 cup flour or masa harina and make a roux (about 3 minutes with a whisk, until it starts browning)
  9. Add the chicken broth and stir with the whisk until well blended
  10. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to keep the roux from sticking. When it boils, the soup will be thickened.
  11. Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin, and salt to taste and stir it in.
  12. Stir in 1.5 cups grated cheese. Cheddar works well, as does any mexican blend or something of that ilk. Please don’t use something like Velveeta, it would make me cry.
  13. Let the cheese get all nice and melty as you stir it in.
  14. You can add some other southwesternish sorts of things like corn, black beans, and cilantro here. Stir it, and serve.


Goes well with a garnish of sour cream, tortilla strips, pico de gallo,  or just a nice simple roll.
Make sure you have your favorite hot sauce handy.

** But you can totally cheat by using prepackaged chicken broth and add some chicken (this works well with canned chicken breast)

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: soup

It’s cold outside, so it’s time for some yummy winter fare.

You will need:

  • A large pot
  • A hand blender (or a regular blender)
  • Butter (1 quarter-pound stick plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 quart dairy (milk or half-and-half, depending on how rich you want this to be)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 pound shredded carrots
  • 1 pound broccoli
  • 1 pound potatotes, cubed (or use leftover baked potato)
  • 1 pound cheese suitable for melting (I highly recommend at least 2 oz cream cheese as part of this)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

Take 2 tablespoons of the butter and saute the onions, and set them aside.

Take the remaining butter and flour and make a roux. Add the dairy and chicken stock and let simmer and thicken for about 20 minutes.

While it’s doing this, cook the broccoli (5 min), carrots (2 min), and potatoes (4 min) in a covered dish in the microwave.

After the base has thickened some, add the vegetables, salt, and garlic and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Use a hand blender to puree the mixture (you can also do it in batches in a regular blender if you need to).

Add the cheese and melt until it’s nice and thick. Serve with a really good roll.

Makes around 16 cups/8 servings.

Thai Squash Soup

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Entrees, soup

Lately, I’ve been taking a more active interest in learning to cook Thai. I’ve got a pretty good handle on Thai Basil Chicken and am branching out. My current reference is Judy Bastyra’s book, “Thai: the essence of Asian cooking“, which is has drool-inducing photographs, as well as a good overview of ingredients and techniques. This recipe came from the book, and I deviated from the recipe on occasion due to ingredient availability. It is a regional dish of Northern Thailand, and was delightful on a cool and gray fall day.

Prep Time: under 30 minutes

Serves 4

Heat 1 quart of vegetable stock (I used chicken stock, as I used the last of my vegetable stock last week) in a pan and prepare the chilli paste by pureeing the following in a small food processor:

4oz sliced shallots (I was all out of shallots, so I used chives)

10 drained bottled green peppercorns

1 fresh green chili pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (available from a good oriental grocery)

(I used canned green chillies in lieu of fresh and the peppercorns)

Peel and cube a smallish butternut squash (about 12 oz). and cut 4 oz green beans into 1-inch pieces.

Add the squash, green beans, and 2 oz dried banana flower (I have no idea where to get this, so I skipped it).  to the stock and cook it for 15 minutes. This would be a good time to cook up some rice (If you’re doing brown/red/black rice, you’ll want to prepare this ahead of time. White rice only takes 15-20 minutes).

After the stock and veggies have cooked for 15 minutes, add:

1 tbsp fish sauce (Nam Pla)

12oz prawns or shrimp (I used frozen from Costco, but fresh works too)

small bunch fresh basil

Simmer for 3 minutes and serve over rice.

In the KC area, there are two asian groceries that I like. One is at 103rd and Metcalf in Overland Park, the other is across from the park & ride on Grand at City Market.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: soup

It’s been cold and icy for a few days. This weather calls for soup. Thick, rich soup that sticks to your ribs. I give you this:

chop 2 lbs potatoes and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. If you time it right, they should be done about the time you finish the next step.

Take 1 lb bacon, partially frozen, and slice across the strips in 1/4″ pieces, and slice again in the other direction about 3/4″ apart, and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon bits to a bowl lined with a paper towel and keep the fat in the pan. Add chopped garlic and chopped onions and saute. When the onions and garlic are cooked, add 2/3 cup flour and make a roux. Add 4 cups chicken broth and 2 cups milk. stir until smooth and heat until it begins to thicken. Add chopped green onions and/or chives and stir. Add the potatoes and bacon and 1/2 lb grated cheddar. Stir until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until ready to eat. Stir in 1 cup sour cream before serving.

This stuff ends up pretty gloopy, so it helps to add milk when reheating the leftovers.

Note: The cooking method above for the bacon also works well for making bacon crumbles for salads and other recipes.