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)
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!