Cream of mushroom soup is a simple soup dish comprising either mushrooms or mushroom stock or both. The basic recipe of this soup calls for thinning the flour roux with milk or cream, which forms the base of this soup. The charecteristic smooth and creamy texture of the soup earns it its name and distinguishes it from other mushroom soups.This dish, although savored commonly all over the world today, is a part of the traditional North American cuisine, where the canned version of this soup is popularly used. While the soup can be consumed just as an appetizer dish, it is often employed as a base for a range of comforts foods, rice-based dishes and casseroles, as a gravy flavored with mushrooms. Campbell’s and Heinz Classic are the two most famous brands selling condensed and/or canned versions of the Creamy mushroom soup.
History of Creamy Mushroom Soup
While the commercial versions of canned cream of mushroom soups are more common these days, the preparation started in the homes in the older times, several hundred of years before. The soup is eyed by some as the direct descendent of the French Béchamel and Italian Salsa colla sauces, which is why the soup is also called as "America's béchamel." The Campbell Soup Company began selling the soup commercially in 1934. In Minnesota, the soup being a common ingredient in the Lutheran hot dishes, is also called "Lutheran binder," and finds a special mention in the Lutheran church cookbooks.
Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe Overview
There are several recipes for making this soup. Here is one of the common ways of making the dish –
Ingredients: Dried Porcini or any other mushroom, chicken broth, unsalted butter, button mushrooms, leeks, garlic, all-purpose flour, parsley, thyme, heavy cream, salt, pepper powder, bay leaf and Madeira.
Preparation: The chicken broth is boiled and poured over the cooked and dried mushrooms which are set aside to rehydrate.They are then removed from the stock and chopped, after which they are stir-fried in butter, along with shallots, leeks and flour which are gradually added. The mushroom stock (the strained liquid preserved after cooking the mushrooms in it) is added and the mixture is simmered with the herbs bundled in a kitchen twine, which is thrown into the simmering soup. Once cooked, the herb bundle is removed and the soup is pureed to a smooth and creamy texture. This mixture is then, simmered over heat again, this time, with the addition of Madeira, seasonings and heavy cream.
The soup makes for an ideal first course dish. It is generally served as an appetizer or often as a wholesome meal, complete with sandwiches, toasted breads or buns.
Creamy Mushroom Soup in Other Dishes
Scalloped Potato Casserole – In a casserole dish, a mixture of the mushroom soup, melted butter, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, onion powder and cooked potato slices is filled in. A layer of bread crumbs is used for covering the mixture which is baked to be served hot.
Green Bean Casserole – The casserole dish is filled with a mixture of cream of mushroom soup, whole milk, soy sauce, along with Onion French Fries and green beans folded into the mixture. This mixture is heated in the oven and served steaming hot with a garnish of more Onion French Fries.
Chicken Alfredo – This is a creamy comfort food comprising pasta, chicken and cheese, often made using the cream of mushroom soup to give it a creamy texture easily. In a saucepan, the mushroom soup along with cheese and heavy cream are heated. To this, olive oil fried chicken breasts and water are added. In another pot, fettuccine is simmered and served hot with the chicken.
Meatball Bake – The meatballs are made by mixing pound lean ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, Original Rotel, garlic salt and seasonings. These balls are then fried and in a baking dish, and then covered with the cream of mushroom soup and baked.
Chicken Bake – A layer of skinless and boneless chicken breasts are covered with a mixture of creamy mushroom soup and whole milk. Garlic cloves are then added to the mixture and the casserole is peppered. This mixture is baked and served hot with white rice.
Nutritive Value of Creamy Mushroom Soup
The cream of mushroom soup has nutritional content similar to any cream based soup, being high in fat, calories and sodium. However, these days, the soup is also sold commercially in low-sodium and low-calorie versions for the weight conscious.
A 10.7 oz. can of creamy mushroom soup yields 258 calories. 157 calories out of the total caloric value is contributed by fats, equivalent to 28 gm in 303g can with 4 grams each of saturated and non-trans fats. Cholesterol is not present in this canned soup, although, the sodium content is as high as 1,955 mg. Carbohydrate accounts for 20 g with 4 g of sugar and 5 mg of protein.
One can benefit 2 % daily recommended Vitamin A, 4% calcium and 19% iron doses from the canned version of this creamy soup. Mushrooms being stored with good amounts of Vitamin B complex, Niacin, Pantothentic acid and Riboflavin, adds to the nutritive value of the soup, especially, if Portabella mushroom has been used in it.