Canned soups are some of the best convenience foods around. Home cooks use them for casseroles, sauces, meat loaf, Sloppy Joes, and cream sauces. But many canned soups have too much salt and lack distinctive flavor. Still, I keep several cans on the shelf.
My husband is retired and often home for lunch. Unlike many wives, who complain about fixing lunch for their husbands, I welcome these opportunities to eat together. For us, noon-time is catch-up time. We compare our “To Do” lists and cross off items one by one.
Lunch stumped me the other day, however. I planned to eat leftovers from the restaurant meal I enjoyed the previous evening. While there was enough food for one, I couldn’t stretch it to feed two. What could I fix for my husband? On the pantry shelf I found a can of Golden Mushroom soup and boosted the flavor with extra ingredients.
I started by sauteing a box of sliced fresh mushrooms in butter and olive oil. Finely chopped onion, celery and chicken stock made the soup even more flavorful. The splash of dry sherry was the final touch. My husband the soup and I did too. You can make Fresh Mushroom Soup with Sherry in 15 minutes and here’s the recipe.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
8-ounce box sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 red or yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons celery, finely chopped
10 3/4-once can of Golden Mushroom soup
1 soup can of lower salt chicken stock (beef stock may be substituted)
1/4 cup dry sherry
chopped parsley for garnish
Melt butter in soup kettle. Add olive oil. Saute mushrooms in butter-oil mixture until almost brown. Add chopped onion and celery and cook for one minute. Add condensed soup and 1 soup can of chicken stock. Reduce heat to lowest setting. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add sherry and cook for one minute more. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately with French bread or crispy crackers. Makes 4 servings.
This basic recipe may also be used to make Cheddar Cheese soup. Use cream of celery soup, eliminate the mushrooms, add the finely chopped onion, 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper and 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper. Stir in 1 cup grated medium Cheddar cheese and 1 soup can of milk. Simmer on low heat until cheese melts.
Additions like these can turn a can of soup into gourmet soup. Happy slurping!
Copyright 2011 by Harriet Hodgson