With all the healthy food I post here on With Love and Butter, you might be shocked,okay, even disgusted, to discover that I have some truly appalling choices when it comes to what I consider “comfort food.” But hey, it’s personal, isn’t it? Doesn’t everyone have a closet comfort food they’d rather not admit to the world? Some sinful, completely non-gourmet slop you eat when you have the house to yourself, curtains drawn, shutters closed, snuggled up in front of the TV?
So here is my confession, the greasy, salty, truth. My go-to favorites usually come from 1. a can and 2. they’re loaded with sodium, usually 800 or 900 mgs., enough send the needle on my scale soaring at least 4 extra pounds the next morning, and zoom my blood pressure into the stroke zone.
Give me tamales (I’m not even a little discerning; they can come from the Dollar store!), or mushy, sugary kid-friendly Ravioli, also a frequent dollar find. I’m good for the whole can. Also, I’m not above devouring a couple of eggs poached atop a greasy plate of canned corned beef hash, extra crispy on the bottom, occasionally topped with a slice of melting, cheese (um, more salt!). But my all-time favorite, sinful, salty satisfier is Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, usually made with Half & Half, and dotted with gooey, melty bits of cheese. There’s just something about that combination that takes me to an emotional comfort zone rarely found anywhere else but the occasional bowl of warm Mac ‘n Cheese.
Sure, I can cut down on the salt by choosing the so-called healthier version, but check the label. There’s still a load of sodium in there plus, I usually end up adding more.
Finally, speed is a factor. When you are in need of an emotional food high, comfort food is something you need now. No waiting. So I came up with an admittedly still slightly sinfu– l but much healthier — home version and it took only 10 minutes. That’s no lie.
10 MINUTE MUSHROOM SOUP MAGIC
- Melt 3 tablespoons of your favorite healthy butter substitute in a saucepan. To this, add:
- 1/2 Sweet, white onion, very finely chopped. Let this cook a few minutes, until the onions are clear but not burned. Now add:
- 1 Teaspoon of finely chopped, fresh Tarragon.
TIP: Substitute fresh Thyme if you have it. Now add:
- 1 cup finely chopped, white mushrooms.
TIP: I like to leave my mushrooms uncovered, in the refrigerator, for a few days. They develop a deeper flavor as they dry out a little. Stir these until the mushrooms are supple, about 2 minutes. Now add:
- Salt & Pepper to taste.
I used very little salt and I like the pink, Himalayan, Kosher, or Sea Salt. Now add:
- 1 Cup of Half & Half (or any non-dairy creamer that you like, but nothing sweet!)
(TIP: If you want to save calories, use milk. We are going to thicken this in a moment.)
- Once your mixture is bubbling away, grab a tablespoon of Gluten-Free Flour (or regular, white flour if you use that but I find the Gluten-Free flours tend to incorporate easily, without needing to make a roux. Also, I use my fingers to sprinkle it gently over my mixture, like a fine snow. Then quickly whisk it in to avoid clumping. If your soup seems to loose and you want it thicker, just sprinkle in more, a half teaspoon at a time.
Voila! You’re all done! Now you have a rich and creamy, home-made mushroom soup with very little salt, the benefits of fresh mushrooms, onions and herbs, fit for company!
DON’T FORGET: You may substitute Fresh Thyme for Tarragon, and if you don’t have fresh herbs, just use dried.