Cream of Mushroom and Herb Soup

 Cream of mushroom and herb soup. The perfect balance of richness, without being to much. This soup is low carb, which means it fits right into the new diet my husband and I have adopted as a lifestyle. This recipe was my attempt at balancing flavor and ease with health and nutrition. We all love those rich and creamy soups when the cooler weather kicks in. The smell of fall, crisp air, and beautiful colors all make me think of one thing: comfort food. So, I thought to myself, how can I create a guilt-free comfort food that will also help strengthen our immune systems? And so was born this recipe!

 My cream of mushroom and herb soup is very versatile, healthy, and delicious. It is immune boosting, vegetarian, and gluten free adaptable, with the omission of flour or the substitution of quinoa flour, which you can even make yourself. It can even vegan adaptable with vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and milk/cream substitutes. This soup is impeccable on its own, however, I personally like to switch things up and add chicken, tilapia (my personal favorite), or quinoa to get some protein. Any lean meat will pair wonderfully with the creaminess of the soup. If you only have a tiny bit left over, use it as a steak sauce. The possibilities are endless.

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With the flavor this recipe packs, it is almost hard to believe that this soup could be healthy and how easy it is to throw together. However, I dare you to try and catch a cold with a meal this nutrient-rich in your system -- and just in time for flu season. Let's break it down...

Chicken stock (A.K.A. bone broth), when homemade, is a well-known immune system warrior because it is rich in minerals that support the immune system. Chicken stock also contains healing compounds such as collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine. The collagen in bone broth heals your gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation.

Crimini mushrooms are a surprising immune booster. I hadn't really thought of whether or not they would be until writing this post made the question arise. Mushrooms contain ergothioneine, which not only provides us with antioxidant support, but with immune support as well, since it helps protect immune cells from oxidative damage.

Onions are chock-full of phytochemicals, along with a surprising amount vitamin C, aid in boosting immunity. For centuries, onions have been used to reduce inflammation and heal infections.

Garlic does way, way more than just boost your immune system. Many reputable sources argue that it prevents cancer, regulates blood sugar, and much more. For the sake of not writing a novel, however, I will keep this more focused on the immune benefits of garlic. Garlic contains  antiseptic, anti-fungal, detoxicant, and nutritive properties. It has the ability to boost your immune system by increasing the rate at which your natural killer cells are made. it can even prevent yeast infections!

Ginger, like garlic, is a nutritional super hero with endless benefits. It is antibacterial, so it helps support the immune system, and it can help to prevent nausea and soothe an upset stomach... Which is great, because garlic tends to cause a lot of people heart burn!

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Cayenne pepper is the third ingredient in this list that has a long list of pros. Cayenne peppers are full of beta carotene and antioxidants that support your immune system, and they also aid in the building of healthy mucus membrane tissue that defends against viruses and bacteria. The spice also raise your body's temperature to make you sweat, increasing the activity of your immune system.

Honorable mentions from this recipe in the immune boosting category include: Rosemary, which is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are thought to help boost the immune system. Basil, which is thought to improve the body's production of infection-fighting antibodies by up to 20 percent. Lastly; paprika, aside from aiding in digestion, is high in vitamin C which helps in strengthening the immune system.

Using fresh spices instead of dried or ground will boost the benefits of this recipe even further. Not everybody has access to fresh ingredients, however, and they are harder to use. You can decide which ingredients to use fresh and which ones you would like to use as a ground or dried ingredient. Just remember that if you use fresh ones, the amounts will change, because dried herbs and spices are much more potent in flavor.

 

 

This recipe is great for making ahead because the longer it sits, the better it tastes! Serve this hot in the Winter or cold in the Summer. Just remember, always do your final tasting of a soup at the temperature you plan to serve it at.

Immersion blender or regular blender required! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

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  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1.5 lb. crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium sweet vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, + more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour (or quinoa flour a gluten-free diet)
  • 1/2 gallon chicken stock (homemade is preferred for health and taste!)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger, + more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage

 

Instructions:

Slice mushrooms and onions. This will be blended so don't worry about making it perfect, just try to cut consistently sized pieces so that it all cooks evenly.

Place butter and olive oil in a large pot on medium-high heat to melt. Toss in mushrooms, onion, and salt. Continue cooking, lowering the heat if necessary, until all water produced while cooking the mushrooms has evaporated.

Add flour, and cook just long enough to knock the raw edge off of the flour; a couple of minutes.

Pour in chicken stock while mixing simultaneously to prevent the flour from getting lumpy. Add minced garlic and allow soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes to ensure the garlic is fully cooked.

While you are waiting, add all remaining ingredients in the list: milk, sour cream, and the seasonings. 

After soup has simmered, and you have tasted it to make sure it is garlicky enough and you can taste the herbs, use your immersion blender to blend to your desired texture. I go all the way smooth to imitate the consistency of the canned variety. This can be done in batches in a blender as well, but be careful not to burn yourself. My immersion blender is an amazing tool and is something I use all the time to make much more than phenomenal soups -- I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Once you have reached the texture you have been looking for, taste for seasoning. If you are serving this soup cold, make sure to taste it when it is cold instead of when it is hot.

Serve in warmed bowls (or cold bowls if you are serving it cold, of course). Optional additions that I recommend include tilapia (my personal favorite), other white fish such as halibut or cod, chicken, and quinoa,

Here is a pin-able photo for Pinterest:

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