Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Creamy Mushroom and Red Potato Soup

Despite some warm and sunny days, winter is not quite behind us here in Wisconsin. And although I'm very eager for spring to arrive, I figure I might as well relish the end of the season by indulging in some of my favorite cold-weather foods, most notably hearty soups and stews. This soup couldn't fit the bill more perfectly. Nothing builds the better base for a hearty soup like potatoes, which eagerly soak up all the earthiness the mushrooms lend to the broth. A combination of shiitakes and baby bellas are the perfect compromise of superior flavor and affordability, the very embodiment of umami. Low-fat milk and sour cream make the soup exceptionally creamy and silky without being overly caloric and bathe everything in smoky paprika and bright dill. The dairy base means this soup won't freeze well, so indulge in a delicious bowl or two (or three) now and say goodbye to Old Man Winter.

Creamy Mushroom and Red Potato Soup
adapted from Eating Well
serves 6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pound cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
4 cups mushroom, vegetable, or reduced-sodium beef broth
2 cups 1% or 2% milk
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small dice
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are very soft, about 3 minutes more. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, paprika and dill. Add to mushroom mixture and cook, stirring constantly until mushrooms are coated in the spice mixture. Add broth, milk and potatoes; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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