It’s December. So I shouldn’t really be too shocked that it’s freezing cold and dreary outside. But every year about this time, I find the cold jarring.
Fuzzy slippers and hearty soups are all that are keeping me from hopping a flight to Florida. In a few weeks, I’ll settle in and remember that I enjoy crackling fireplaces and hot bubble baths, and pristine snow falls, and steaming cups of cocoa. But for now, it’s all about soup. A big bowl of soup, a piece of crusty bread, and maybe a simple green salad, and I’m about as happy as I can be in early December.
This creamy mushroom soup is actually more mushroom than cream. Even so, the texture is still lovely and rich from the pureed mushrooms and the small amount of reduced fat cream cheese. I happen to like the meatiness of mushroom bits in my soup, but if you prefer, you can fully puree all of the soup.
I’ve made this soup with a variety of mushrooms, and it all works. This time I went for a combination of shiitake, crimini and regular old white button mushrooms. Use what you like, though, or what you can find at the store. I’ve never tried using reconstituted dried mushrooms, but I imagine they might add another level of flavor and texture, so that could be worth a try. I use beef stock, because I think the flavor combination of mushrooms and beef is lovely. You can certainly use vegetable stock – or better yet mushroom stock – for a vegetarian soup.
Creamy Mushroom Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cups chopped mushrooms, mixed variety
3 cups beef stock
4 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese (not fat-free)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh fennel fronds for garnish (optional)