2 TBS. EVOO
2 TBS. butter
1-2 onions sliced thin (I'm not a huge onion fan so I pretty much use sweet onions for everything)
2 stalks celery chopped fairly small
2-3 large cloves garlic...minced, grated or pressed
1 lb. of mushrooms (I use a mix of button and crimini) sliced
2 cups chicken stock (you could use vegetable stock also)
1 tsp. dried thyme
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 cups half and half...or if your really feeling decadent you could use cream.
This first part is the most time intensive part of the recipe. Heat the butter and olive oil in the bottom of a large soup pot. Add the onions and cook on medium until caramelized. This takes about 40 or so minutes. Be sure to stir often so they don't burn. They should be a rich golden brown color when done.
Standing at the stove stirring onions is not really my idea of a good time...so I try to find something useful to do between stirs. In this case, chopping celery, mincing garlic and slicing the mushrooms does the trick. This way when the onions are done you are ready to do the next step.
Remove the onions from the pan, add a little more oil or butter if needed and saute the celery and garlic for a few minutes. Now toss in the star of the show...the mushrooms. Saute until tender. The smell is going to send you to heaven...mmmmm.
Once the mushrooms are tender add a little white wine or chicken broth to deglaze the pan and get all those yummy bits off the bottom of the pot. Now you are ready to make the veggies into the soup. Add the chicken stock, thyme, and salt and pepper. Let simmer 20-30 minutes.
Then add the half and half. Heat through. OK, you think you're done, right? Wrong. Take 2 or 3 cups of the soup and puree. If you use a blender be sure to let the soup cool a bit before you turn it on, or you could end up cleaning your ceiling. Put the blended soup back into the pot and stir. Heat through and enjoy with a side salad and some hot garlic bread.
Hubby really liked this. He has a background in food service, so I totally trust his opinion. And since I don't want to be throwing food out, I have to make sure he likes it. My big concern was that maybe it was too "soupy", and did I want to thicken it. Hubby was happy with the way it was. But if any of you feel the need to thicken, I won't be offended. But please let me know what you did to it. I love to try new things and look for improvements. Anyone have any ideas on improving hubbies or kids? Just kidding...love my gang the way they are! Enjoy the soup.