Happy (belated) National Homemade Soup Day! I had no idea that was a thing until just a few minutes ago, but it makes sense that it falls in February. Who doesn’t love a bowl of hot soup on a chilly February night? And luckily for us, National Homemade Soup Day also falls in the middle of our Soup-tacular Soup Post Extravaganza! Yay for fortunate coincidences!
Speaking of coincidences, I just made French onion soup with mushrooms the other day. French onion soup is like a miracle. It is my fallback meal for those days when I open the fridge and find that it is almost empty. On most occasions, even my nearly-empty fridge will still have several heel ends of sliced bread that for some reason always get put back in the bag; a hunk of mystery cheese that is not moldy, so I don’t want to throw it out, but I can’t remember when I bought it, so I am slightly apprehensive about eating it unless it is somehow cooked; and at least half an onion. Even with those scant ingredients, you have the start to a good French onion soup. Add some mushrooms, and the results are amazing: light but very filling, with a rich buttery flavor.
I don’t know if I ever make this soup (or most soups) the same way twice. It varies a lot with the ingredients I have on hand. This particular batch used white mushrooms and yellow onions.
There are a couple of different ways to top the soup. I generally use whatever bread we have on hand (in this case, sliced multigrain) and toast it until it is brown and crispy. Then I place the toast on top of the soup crock, top with cheese, and return to the oven until the cheese is all melted. For this bowl, I used a combo of mozzarella and Parmesan.
Apparently mozzarella melts down into the bowl a lot more quickly than Swiss or Gruyere.
At any rate, it was tasty, satisfying, and easy to make. Plus I got to use a lot of ingredients we already had, so that is always a bonus. A great soup to celebrate Homemade Soup Day!
- 1.5-2 Onions (depending on preference)
- 8 oz. Mushrooms
- 2 stalks Celery
- 2-3 Carrots
- Thyme, to taste
- Liquid Aminos, a few splashes
- Cumin, A Pinch
- 1-2 Bay Leaves
- Beef Bouillon, 2-3 teaspoons
- Butter, 1-2 pats
- Olive Oil, a few splashes
- Black Pepper and Salt, to taste
- Wine or Balsamic Vinegar
- Add a splash of olive oil to soup pot and bring to medium high.
- Add onions and cook until they start to turn translucent.
- Add mushrooms.
- Splash with liquid aminos.
- Add wine or Balsamic vinegar. Stir and simmer for a minute or two (until the wine reduces a little).
- Add thyme, cumin and pepper. Stir.
- Add butter, then cover pot and cook for a few minutes, until butter melts.
- For the soup base:
- In a blender, blend ½ onion, 3 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 3 cups water, and bouillon.
- Stir blender mixture into soup pot.
- Add bay leaf.
- Simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
- For topping:
- Toast bread to desired crispiness.
- Ladle soup into crock or other oven safe bowl.
- Add toast to top of soup crock.
- Sprinkle with cheese of choice.
- Place soup crock in 400 degree oven and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is at desired level of bubbling.
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