You can use any combination of mushrooms for this. I chose these because they're my favorites. Remember, if you use shiitakes you should remove the stems, but with others the stems are fine. To wash mushrooms, never submerge them in water or run water over them - they are like sponges and will soak it up. Instead, dampen a clean, soft towel or paper towel and rub dirt off the caps. I used a rough chop for this, sort of cubing the mushrooms, but if you wish to cut them smaller or simply slice them that will also work.
For the bread bowls, I used Italian baby boules that cost only 99 cents from the bakery at Whole Foods Market. Any small, round bread will do. Sourdough is the classic bread bowl.
You can't really make this low fat or low calorie. I guess you could by using olive oil instead of butter and eliminating the milk (I used 2%) but then it wouldn't be cream of mushroom, just mushroom soup. This recipe would probably not work very will with soy or rice milk.
This is classic comfort food for me! Makes two servings.
Cream of Mushroom Soup in a Bread Bowl
- 1 cup chopped baby portabella mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped shittake mushroom caps
- 2 cups chopped white button mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup minced yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme -OR- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup milk or cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 round loaves of French, Italian or Sourdough bread
Meanwhile, use a serrated knife to cut the top out of the bread loaf. Stick the knife into the top, towards the side, at an angle. Using a sawing motion, cut a round piece out. The top should lift right out. Using your hands, scrape the excess bread out of the bowl and reserve for another use (bread pudding? a simple snack?). Place on a cookie sheet in a low oven, about 250°, until ready to use.
Add in another two tablespoons of butter and all of the mushrooms. Stir well to combine, and saute until the mushrooms are soft and release their juices - about five to ten minutes.
Push the vegetables to the side of the pot and add in the remaining 1/4 cup of butter and the flour. Stir this until the butter is melted and the flour is well combined. Stir to combine with the mushrooms and let this mixture cook, stirring constantly, for about five minutes.
Add in the stock and bring to a gentle boil, continuing to stir. Lower the heat and, while stirring, slowly mix in the milk. Do not allow the soup to boil once the milk has been added. If you are using fresh thyme, add this in now, as well as seasoning with salt and pepper (I used maybe 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and almost a whole teaspoon of black pepper).
To serve, take the bread bowl out of the oven and place into a bowl (just in case there are holes in the bread, you don't want your soup to go everywhere!) Scoop the soup into the bowl and enjoy!