Here's a recipe I invented today, using stuff we happened to have around the house.
Creamy Portobello Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Soup
- Half stick of butter (1/8 of a pound, or 2 ounces)
- One large white onion, chopped
- Several cloves of garlic, minced
- One medium chili pepper, de-seeded and chopped fine
- 4 medium-sized portobello caps, w/out stems, sliced 1/4 inch thin and chopped to about 1/2 inch pieces
- A few handfuls of dried oyster, shitake and other mushrooms, chopped or crumbled (got ours from Costco; consider this ingredient optional if inconvenient and just add two more portobellos)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (I used 4 bullion cubes + boiling water)
- A few splashes of tamari sauce (can substitute soy sauce if you don't have tamari, but for this soup the latter is better)
- 1 cup dry white wine (Chardonnay is a good choice)
- 1 cup half-and-half (you can go with fat-free if the half stick of butter is freaking you out)
- 4 tablespoons wheat flour (or any other flour if you prefer)
- Two large dollops sour cream (same — regular, low fat, either is fine; I went with regular)
- Sage, dill, chives, parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large deep sauce pan or dutch oven, heat the butter on medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion first, and saute until it begins to go transparent. Sprinkle generously with the sage, dill, chives, and parsley. Add the garlic and chili pepper. Keep sauteing until the onion just begins to caramelize.
Meanwhile, as you're cooking the onions, in another pot or microwavable bowl, heat the broth or bullion and add to it the dried non-portobello mushrooms. For these last, I just crumbled up the dried mushrooms and added them to the bowl of hot bullion, and let that sit until I was ready for it. Again, if you don't have these, ignore this step, and instead just increase the portobellos from four caps to six. It's also perfectly fine to substitute an equivalent weight of portobello mushroom slices/pieces if they're available, but do be aware they'll dry out and/or go mushy in the fridge sooner than whole caps. However, don't fall for the "Baby Bellas" scam — those are really just brown mushrooms, not actual portobellos.
Add the chopped portobellos to the saucepan, and saute for a minute with the onions until the mushrooms begin to brown a little. Add the splashes of tamari, then the white wine, stirring frequently. When it begins to boil again, add the broth mixture. When it's boiling once more, slowly sprinkle in the flour to begin thickening the soup, and keep stirring. (Note, for a non-creamy mushroom-onion soup, it's actually pretty tasty right here.)
After maybe five minutes, turn down the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half and the sour cream, and stir well to make it all even. Grind fresh pepper and add salt to taste, although not much will be needed. Cover and simmer on low-low heat for about a half hour to an hour, stirring occasionally, before serving.
Serves three or four as a meal. Perhaps six if you're just serving it in a small cup as an appetizer. Goes really well with baked cheesy garlic bread, or even just a nice slice of fresh sourdough.