Creamy Broccoli, Cheddar and Braised Mushroom Soup

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Creamy Broccoli, Cheddar and Braised Mushroom Soup

We are at the start of a new feature called “Meatless Monday.” When I told Mr. Saucy about this new feature, his response was a little less than enthusiastic. 

This is how it went:

    • Mr. Saucy: WHAT! You mean every Monday I don’t get meat!?
    • Me: No, that means at some point in the week you will get a meatless meal.
    • Mr. Saucy: I’ll just wait until you go to bed and fix a frozen pizza.
    • Me: Dude, you can’t stay up later than me. AND…you get meatless meals a lot. Didn’t notice did you?
    • Mr. Saucy: Hmmmm…tricky.

When I named the meatless meals I had served recently, he had to admit that he had enjoyed them all; he hadn’t missed the meat. I had been slipping in meatless meals to our weekly menu, without notice or complaint. So, if you have a die-hard meat-lover, like I do, it is possible to insert meat-free meals into your weekly dinner lineup.

There are so many ways to make a meal hearty without the meat, and in this case it is the use of Portobello mushrooms. I braised the mushrooms, a simple process, which infused them with flavor and gave them a beautiful meaty texture. Braising is just a technique that uses high, dry, heat and then liquid to cook. So, the pound of mushrooms I used were cooked in only a bit of butter until seared, forming a nice caramelized crust. Then, I added a bit of sherry (you could use white wine) to de-glaze the pan and capture the caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan. The mushrooms continued to cook, just a few minutes, until that liquid was absorbed. Then, they were added to the soup, taking all that incredible flavor with them.


So many cream-based soups call for puréeing, but I left this soup chunky. I did this intentionally so that there were substantial bits to bite into when eating it; I really believe having something to chew gives this soup an easier acceptance for someone looking for those bits of meat. The broccoli, sliced mushrooms, and diced onion were all intact and surrounded by creamy deliciousness; it was filled with contrasts that all worked to satisfy my meat-loving Mr. Saucy.

If you have a stubborn, intractable meat-lover, you could always throw on some crisped, crumbled bacon! *wink*

I hope you’ll try this delightful soup. And join me here again next Monday for another meatless meal idea. Also, an additional feature I’ll be adding is Five Ingredient Friday, which will give recipes with five ingredients (or so) for those of you who are squeamish about long ingredient lists. You can keep up with me on facebook for more news, fun and daily frivolity, too. Go “like” me there.

P~

Cream of Broccoli and Braised Mushroom Soup
 
This soup is filled with contradictions: It is creamy, yet chunky; it is rich, yet refreshing; it simple, yet elegant; it is meatless, yet hearty.Braised portobello mushrooms give it a meatiness, and chunks of broccoli and onion round out the tooth; combined in a rich, creamy, satisfying soup, you'll make any meat-lover happy.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Ingredients
  • FOR THE MUSHROOMS:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 - 8 ounce packages Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sherry (or white wine)
  • FOR THE SOUP BASE:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (you could also use thyme leaves alone, and I do at times)
  • 2 cups stock (I used vegetable, but you could use chicken)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half & half
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. FOR THE MUSHROOMS:
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter with your stove top setting just between medium and medium high heat.
  3. Add the mushroom slices, making sure that they don't overlap.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Allow the mushrooms to cook until you can see a browning of the lower edges. Leave them alone! Don't move them. This is creating that nice caramelization you are looking for in them. This takes about 5 minutes.
  6. Once the mushrooms have browned on one side, turn them over and allow them to brown on the other side.
  7. Add the sherry and stir to pull up the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan.
  8. Continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed, just a couple of minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. FOR THE SOUP BASE:
  11. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  12. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are nearly transparent.
  13. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir.
  14. Continue to cook for about 4 minutes (you are making a roux...cooking out the raw flour flavor).
  15. Add the herbes de Provence and stir and continue to cook for about a minute.
  16. Add the stock,heavy cream and half & half and whisk until smooth (except for the onion pieces, of course).
  17. Continue cooking until the soup begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  18. Add salt and black pepper, to taste.
  19. Add the broccoli, cheddar cheese (reserve just a bit of the cheese to use as a garnish) and mushrooms.
  20. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn't stick.
  21. Ladle into hot bowls, sprinkle with reserved grated cheddar and serve with a crispy bread.
Notes
I used an entire pound of mushrooms because mushrooms tend to cook down to near nothing. I wanted there to be plenty of them in the soup to satisfy my meat-lover. An eight ounce package would do ordinarily.

 

About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight.

I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I’m gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading…and commenting! P~

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2 Responses to Creamy Broccoli, Cheddar and Braised Mushroom Soup

  1. mary k says:

    Shorter version…I love this soup and it is very versatile and easy to make!

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