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​Cream of Mushroom and Greens Soup

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A gluten free and vegetarian recipe

Most winters here in Tennessee, the greens in the garden last all winter long. So I'm always looking for a warm, hearty, and healthy greens recipe. I tried making this soup a couple of different ways while always tasty, it kept breaking. The key is to bring the soup to a boil early after you add the broth so that the soup will thicken. Then let the soup cool down before you add the milk, and keep the temperature low afterward.

I didn't add celery and herbs, because I wanted the greens and their unique flavor to stand out. I do add garlic at almost every step--at the end of saute of the veggies and mushrooms, while the soup is simmering, and when it is almost finished. I end up using more than a head of garlic. To me, soup is the perfect vehicle for lots of garlic and just a little red pepper- especially if you aren't feeling well. But the garlic and red pepper flakes can be omitted if it isn't your taste.

My uncle used to snack on Parmesan Cheese rinds, and he got me into the habit. It is kind of like chewing cheese gum. Later, I learned to save the rinds to flavor soups. You can prepare this soup either way. Put the rinds in whole and take them out after the soup is done, or cut the rind into chunks.  As the soup cooks, they soften and end up as tasty nuggets. Either way, the cheese gives the soup a wonderful flavor.

I use homemade or low sodium broth, and add salt to the veggies and mushrooms. Be careful not to add to much if your broth is already salted.

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil or Butter
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Pound Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cup White Wine or Sherry
  • 64 oz Broth or Stock
  • 12 large Leaves of Greens (Kale, Collards, Turnip, and/or Mustard)
  • Rind from a Big Hunk of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 gallon Milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation:

Dice carrots and onions finely. You want them to add flavor to the soup, but you want the mushrooms and the greens to be the star flavor nuggets in this dish. In your stock pot, saute veggies in 4 tablespoons of olive oil or butter until onions are translucent. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and salt; continue to cook for a few minutes. Add 4 tablespoons of flour, and cook for another few minutes while constantly stirring and scraping the bottom. Deglaze the pan with white wine or sherry, and stir for another few minutes until the alcohol cooks off. Then, stir in half of the broth and let it come to a simmer. Stir soup occasionally while it continues to simmer; and add more garlic if desired.
So the pan doesn't get too crowded, I add the mushrooms in at least two batches. Saute each batch of mushrooms in 4 tablespoons of butter or olive oil on medium low, and add a little salt and garlic towards the end of cooking
As described above for the carrots and onions, stir in 4T of flour, then broth. Transfer the mixture to the simmering soup.
Remove tough stems from greens and roll into a large cigar shape, slice leaves crosswise into ribbons. Cut Parmesan cheese rind into small cubes.
Add them to the soup and cook greens to desired consistency. If desired, add more minced garlic.
Turn down heat, allow to cool then add milk. Salt and pepper to taste.