How to Make Cream of Mushroom Soup
Cream of mushroom soup, with its rich and earthy flavor, is considered a comfort food that could keep you warm and satisfied using only a few but healthy ingredients. It is a classic dish that is easy to cook, perfect for a light but filling dinner. This full-flavored starter is best consumed with a side of baked vegetables or gluten-free garlic bread, and it is also used as a base ingredient in casseroles.
But because of their busy lifestyles, some people opt for the convenience of ready-to-eat, processed canned soups. The problem with canned soup — and most canned foods — is that it may be tainted with the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) that leaches from the can’s linings. Also, convenience foods often have additives, artificial flavorings or preservatives in them to maintain shelf life.
Instead of settling for processed varieties, why not try this simple cream of mushroom soup recipe by Felicia Lim of Paleo hacks? It makes use of fresh mushrooms, herbs and other wholesome ingredients to give you a hearty and delicious soup that will warm you up during cold days.
How to Make Cream of Mushroom Soup
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Serving Size: 2
- 1 pound baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 large diced yellow onion
- 3 large minced garlic cloves
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
- Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, plus more for garnish
- Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and then place the sliced mushrooms in a single layer. Let the mushrooms cook without moving for five minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip them and continue cooking for another five minutes. Once the mushrooms are ready, set them aside.
- In the same skillet, sauté the diced onions and minced garlic together. Cook the onions for seven minutes, or until tender. Add most of the mushrooms and reserve a few slices for garnish. Pour in the water and mix well, and then simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the stove. Transfer the ingredients in a blender and pulse on high-speed until you get a thick homogeneous mixture.
- Return the mixture back to the skillet, and then add in the coconut cream and salt. Mix well to combine and let the soup cook for five minutes over low heat.
- Divide the soup evenly between two bowls and top with sautéed mushroom slices. Garnish with chopped parsley, ground black pepper and a drizzle of coconut oil.
What Makes Baby Bella Mushrooms Beneficial for You?
Baby bella, also known as crimini or cremini, is a mushroom variety with a deeper and earthier flavor than white button mushrooms. It has a light-tan to rich-brown cap and a firm texture, and like other mushroom varieties, could be cooked in many ways. Criminis are best combined with grass fed beef or vegetables.1
Though they are considered fungi and not plants, mushrooms provide a number of nutrients such as B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, selenium, ergothioneine, copper, potassium, fiber and beta-glucans.2 Selenium is responsible for boosting the immune system and suppressing DNA damage due to free radicals. Niacin helps lessen the risk of diseases associated with heart disease.
Copper helps counter anemia, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, while pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 is a vital nutrient for the digestive system that reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and high blood cholesterol.3 According to a 2011 study, mushrooms such as cremini have chemoprotective properties that may help suppress the spread of breast cancer cells.4
Another study found that mushrooms may help mitigate cardiovascular diseases, as they may alter inflammatory environments.5 Additionally, mushrooms make a great alternative for meat because of their flavor-enhancing umami properties6 — but be sure not to cut back on your meat intake because it is an important part of your diet.
When buying mushrooms, check if their cap tightly covers the gills — that’s how you would know they’re fresh.7 Also, choose those that are organically grown. This is to ensure that they contain more nutrients, as they are usually cultivated in healthier conditions. You may also grow your own mushrooms to guarantee their freshness and safety.
Coconut Oil Makes This Soup Healthier
Coconut oil is your best choice when cooking mushrooms, to give them a golden brown color. In spite of the misconception that this oil’s fat content may be bad for your health,8 many published studies oppose this, including one study that found that Polynesians who consume coconut as their main source of energy are not prone to vascular diseases, even with a high saturated fat intake.9
Coconut oil is known for its many benefits, including heart health. According to a 2016 Nutrition Foundation study,10 using coconut oil instead of cis unsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil and corn oil11 may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It was also found to help reverse the development of the symptoms of hepatosteatosis, a nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.12
Note: Though coconut oil remains to be a healthy choice, remember to use it sparingly because its lauric acid content may have drawbacks, especially if you have a leaky gut. Also, choose organic unrefined virgin coconut oil instead of partially hydrogenated coconut oil because the hydrogenated version undergoes more processes that may convert some of its good fats into bad ones.13
This Recipe Suits Your Ketogenic Diet
Considering mushrooms and coconut oil as two of its main ingredients, this cream of mushroom soup makes a great addition to your regular ketogenic diet plan. One cup of whole cremini mushrooms contains only 3.74 grams of carbohydrates.14 Consuming a low amount of carbohydrates may help suppress your appetite, as well as allow your body to burn more ketones to lessen your risk of inflammation.
On the other hand, coconut oil is known for its significant amounts of healthy fats,15 which may be beneficial for a ketogenic diet’s fat-burning activity. This recipe may help you maintain a low-carb, high-fat diet to achieve optimal health.