My morning Twitter stroll led me to this little gem today. A vicious battle between Ruby Tandoh (who just released her new book, Eat Up) and a pushy vegan lady. Okay, not that vicious, but a little heated for sure.
Before I took my Twitter stroll and read all of this, I woke up knowing that I had one main goal. I was going to do one last run through my cream of mushroom soup recipe and post it. But, I didn’t know what I was going to say about it. It could just be another, “I don’t have much to say about this. It’s good. Try it.” Then I thought about how I could share my distaste for canned soup. How I get bummed when I’m doing a little recipe research and come across recipes that call for a can of cream of mushroom soup, (I’m looking at you, Paula Deen and…Campbell’s…), how it’s really quite easy to make from scratch, and how people should opt for this from-scratch recipe over the canned crap.
But then, the discussion between Ruby and pushy vegan lady changed me.
What this interaction did for me was get me thinking about where I come from. A lot of people can choose how and what they eat, but there are so many that don’t have a choice. As a kid, I didn’t. Growing up, it was often canned soup and packs of Top Ramen bought with food stamps. Sometimes it was steak and crab legs…also bought with food stamps. Today, I feel a bit guilty about that, but again, not my choice.
I’ve been writing some stories from childhood memories and a lot of them revolve around these types of food. I’ve only just recently started getting serious about writing. I’m working towards getting better at it, but these stories compiled could eventually turn into a memoir. Should I really turn my nose up to these items and spew hate towards them publicly? Probably not a wise decision. Especially since I once had to eat these kinds of foods. If I wasn’t lucky enough to find a way out of that situation on my own, I very well could be eating them still…and still buying them with food stamps.
Ruby has officially inspired me to stop and think before judging others’ food “choices”. At the very least, I’ll try to refrain from pushing my food beliefs onto others. Unless of course, it’s trying to get my husband to become a blue cheese or egg yolk lover.
This experience gave me an admiration for Ruby and also made me kind of want to buy her new book. I’ll have to skip the crème egg part though. Not that there is anything wrong with crème eggs. I just really really don’t like them.
Now, I’ll finally get to my original point of this post: I don’t have much to say about this cream of mushroom soup. It’s good. You should try it.
This is the 20lbs. of mushrooms that I bought for an event (WAY too much). I had to use the extras for something and my first thought was cream of mushroom soup. Sometimes, I’m BASIC.
Ubiquitous Mise Photo
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Yield: Approximately 3 Quarts
2 sticks butter
2 C shallot, small diced
½ C garlic, thinly sliced
2 ½ Lb white button and/or crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 T fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped fine
1 C white wine
½ C all-purpose flour
6 C chicken stock, plus more as needed
2 C heavy cream
Salt to taste
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for about two minutes
Add the mushrooms, thyme, and stir in a pinch of salt. You may need to work in batches until the mushrooms cook down a bit depending on your pot size. Just stir in a little pinch of salt with each one as this helps the mushrooms release their liquid and cook down
Cook the mushrooms until nearly all the liquid is cooked out stirring occasionally (approximately 10-15 minutes)
Add the wine and cook until nearly dry, stirring occasionally
Reduce the heat to medium, add the flour, and stir often. It may start to stick to the bottom. If this happens, add a little bit of the stock until a smoother paste texture is formed. This will prevent sticking while still toasting and cooking out the flour taste. Continue adding stock as necessary, stirring often for about 5 minutes
Add half the remaining stock, stirring occasionally until it comes to a simmer and then add the remaining stock and bring to a simmer again
Add the cream and stir occasionally until it comes to a simmer
Season with salt to taste. You may also want to adjust the texture with more stock or cream depending on your preference. Remember to taste and season again if you do so.
Vegetarian Modification: Use milk instead of stock
Vegan Modification: I’ve got nothing for this one, for obvious reasons
Garnish suggestions: Crispy onions or shallots, chives or parsley, parmesan cheese