8 oz. mushrooms (mix of types: white, shiitake, portobello, cremini), half chopped and half sliced
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper (Note: using white pepper gives flavor without leaving black specks in this light creamy soup)
1 can (10¾-oz., e.g., 1⅓ cups) chicken broth, condensed
1 soup can (1⅓ cups) water
1 cup cream, half & half
¼ tsp. nutmeg (Optional: for accent)
parsley, snipped (for garnish)
To prepare mushrooms, rinse under cold water, and pat dry on paper towels. Do not soak in water.
This soup must be made with fresh mushrooms. It is the key to the flavor.
Slice enough mushrooms to measure 1 cup. Chop the remaining mushrooms.
Sauté sliced mushrooms in 2 Tbsp. of butter (or margarine) for about 5 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Sauté and stir chopped mushrooms and onion in the same pan with the remaining butter (or margarine) and any liquid in the pan until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
Use a whisk and add flour, salt, and white pepper.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat.
Stir in chicken broth and water with the whisk.
Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
[Tip: Soup may be prepared ahead of time to this point. Store in covered containers in the refrigerator (one container for soup, one for the sautéed sliced mushrooms).]
If serving immediately, slowly stir in half & half, sliced mushrooms, and nutmeg. Heat until hot, just to boiling point.
Garnish each serving with parsley.
[Tip: If making ahead, bring cold soup to boiling point and add half & half, mushrooms, and nutmeg; heat and serve.]
[Tip: Always use low heat once the milk has been added so the soup does not separate. To reduce fat content you can use margarine and 2% milk. The soup won't be as rich but tastes almost as good.]