Winter weather means comfort food. Nothing quite says comfort like a bowl of creamy, hot soup. And there is no better time to enjoy soup than January’s National Soup Month!
When it’s time to say “Soups On!” homemade potage dazzled with the addition of dairy, a crusty loaf of bread or a side of buttermilk biscuits and a leafy salad will certainly garner rave reviews. And you can rest easy knowing the dairy ingredients are nourishing your guests.
The process doesn’t have to be high maintenance. Use your slow cooker or Instant Pot® to create soups with a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. Make more than you need, as this recipe freezes and reheats well.
Pro Tip: Best results in mixing milk with broth for a creamy finish come by adding dairy ingredients at the end. This gives other ingredients a chance to reduce and build flavor. Then, the addition of your favorite dairy–such as milk, yogurt or cheese–combine to create that wonderful mouthfeel, texture and finish everyone loves.
Cheesy Does It: As you melt cheese into any soup or sauce, remember that smaller pieces melt better than bigger ones. Cold cheese grates better than that at room temperature. Add the grated cheese in small batches for the best results. Stir as you sprinkle it in. As one batch melts, add another.
When Soup Becomes Sauce: Leftovers? Add more thyme, fresh minced parsley and a tablespoon of tomato paste to a cup of this soup and use to sauce anything hot off the grill.
Mushroom and Brie Soup
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 lbs. mushrooms
2 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups beef or veggie broth
4 oz. ripe brie, shredded
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
Slice or chop the mushrooms. Use a mix of varieties. Sauté in olive oil until lightly browned.
Add butter, onions and thyme; cook until onions are tender (5-7 minutes).
Stir in flour. Blend well.
Add wine and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook for 20 mins. Slowly, add shredded brie to hot broth. Stir as the brie melts.
Stir in heavy cream. Cook to warm through. Season to taste.
Here’s to starting your 2020 with comforting, warm soups that nourish your body for the year ahead!
Heidi Billotto, Charlotte-based culinary expert, writes about food, restaurants and food-centric travel for regional magazines, newspapers, blogs & websites. In addition, Heidi conducts private in-home or office cooking classes for corporate team building & social gatherings. Follow her culinary adventures at HeidiBillottoFood.com.