Sunday, December 9, 2018

Ruth Reichl's Creamy Mushroom Soup, Kitchen Therapy for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This simple soup is from Ruth Reichl's memoir Comfort Me With Apples and she mentions in the book that she made it daily to get her through hard times as it was the most soothing soup she could make. I find most soups to be a good form of therapy--both making them and eating them, and a pot of mushroom soup is the perfect comfort on a cool day.

I made a few changes to the recipe, swapping the half and half for coconut milk because I have several cans on hand and it's better than dairy on my breathing. I also swapped the beef broth for mushroom bouillon cubes and water. Because I bought some huge white mushrooms and wasn't sure how flavorful they would be. Finally, I used smoked paprika instead of nutmeg because I am just not a nutmeg fan. My changes are in red below. 

Creamy Mushroom Soup
Slightly Adapted from Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl
(Serves 4)

1/2 lb mushrooms
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 small onion, diced
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup broth (I used 2 mushroom broth bouillon cubes)
2 cups half & half (I used coconut milk)
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I used 1/2 tsp smoked paprika)
1 bay leaf

Thinly slice the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a heavy pan. When the foam subsides, add the onion and saute until golden. Add the mushrooms and saute until brown and softened. Stir in the flour, then slowly add the broth, stirring constantly.

Heat the half & half (or coconut milk) in a saucepan or in the microwave. Add it to the mushrooms along with salt, pepper, nutmeg and a bay leaf. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes; do not boil. Remove the bay leaf and serve. 

Notes/Results: Simple in ingredients and process, but a very tasty soup that is the perfect comfort food on a cool day. I imagine it would be perfect for a cold day too but we don't get those very often here so a windy cool day will have to do. I loved all of the flavor from the mushrooms, the extra mushroom bouillon cube, and the smoked paprika. The coconut milk is as creamy as half and half and with the butter, make this soup rich and satisfying. I topped my soup with crisp garlic and pepper fried onions. Yum. Although I won't make it every day, I will happily eat this soup for lunches this week and would make it again. 

Linking this soup up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where the theme is Kitchen Therapy--Ruth Reichl dishes that are therapeutic to make or eat. 

I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Now let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Potato Soup with Carrots, Onions & Garlic and said, "Two weeks ago I posted a Potato Soup that was hearty and delicious, but not homemade. I haven't been able to duplicate that recipe exactly but I did whip up a pot of homemade soup for the cold work week. Not sure why we can't get heat at work but I can combat the chill with a hot bowl of comfort food."

Kim of Stirring the Pot made Ruth Reichl's Lentil, Sausage and Brown Rice Stew, saying "This stew lends itself perfectly to kitchen therapy as I sliced, chopped, stirred, and smelled my way to happiness. Not to mention, I was even more satisfied at the chance to use up an abundance of brown rice and lentils I found languishing about in my pantry. I always feel quite accomplished when I use up all the bits and bobs laying about. This is a soul-soothing wintry stew that comes together with humble ingredients and love. I'm convinced it holds the power to heal whatever ails you."

Thanks to Tina and Kim for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Mushroom soups sounds delicious right about now!

  2. Hello, I stumbled across your site and link party. Thought I would give you a shout out and submit a post. Soups and what I call soup/stews are a favorite at our house, any day of the week.

  3. I sure love mushrooms, If a recipe calls for a certain amount I usually double it. This is real comfort food.
    Sorry I am bringing so many meaty submissions lately! I will get back to vegetarian fare soon :-)

    1. Meats are just fine! I just like having you join in! ;-)

  4. I do love a good mushroom soup, but those "crisp garlic and pepper fried onions" are really tempting. Where is the recipe?

    1. Hah! ;-) They are tasty but I actually buy these at Safeway or Foodland in either the produce/salad section or they are sometimes on the wall with salad dressings. They are by Fresh Gourmet.


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