Thursday, June 5, 2014

Low Carb Recipe: Faux French Onion Soup (aka Mushroom & Garlic Soup)

Low-carb mushroom soup
Greg and I both love homemade French onion soup, but the real thing doesn't fit into either of our dietary preferences: The bread topping makes the soup prohibitively high-carb for Greg, and its cheesy high-fat richness makes it a very rare indulgence for me.

The following soup was one of the last meals I cooked in North Carolina before our move, born primarily of the need to use up the last frozen container of my homemade brown stock along with the shredded cheese, mushrooms, garlic, spring onions and part of a yellow onion residing in our refrigerator. I did not intend to make a soup that tasted very similar to French onion soup. It was only after we tasted it and Greg exclaimed, "I love it! It's like French onion soup without the bread!" that I decided to call this robust mushroom & beef stock soup a "faux French onion soup."

Regardless of whether you're looking for a low carb or gluten-free soup recipe, or are watching your fat intake, or simply enjoy mushrooms and hearty soups made with beef stock, this recipe is for you. Its flavors are sufficiently robust that you can omit the cheese, if you prefer.

sauteed mushrooms
Sauteing the mushrooms
2 Tbs butter plus 1 Tbs butter
1 cup very thinly sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced spring (or green) onions including green top
Approx. 15 cloves garlic, crushed
8 oz sliced mushrooms
scant 1/4 cup dry sherry
1 quart beef broth OR 2 cups brown stock + 2 cups water
Salt & Pepper to taste
Opt: A splash or two of Hot Pepper Sherry
Shredded cheese, e.g., Swiss, gruyere, gouda, parmesan, mozzarella, etc.

Faux French Onion Soup recipe
Simmering the soup
Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden but not yet caramelized. Stir in the spring onions & garlic and saute until softened and the garlic is lightly golden. Stir in remaining Tablespoon of butter and when melted, stir in the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until soft. Slowly stir in the sherry to deglaze the bottom of the pot, then allow to simmer & cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has mostly evaporated but the vegetables are still moist. Add the broth or stock & water, bring to a simmer (you may need to increase the heat) and cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes. Taste for balance, season with salt & pepper to taste, and add a splash or two of pepper sherry if you like a spicy soup. Serve in bowls and top each serving with shredded cheese if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Zestfully yours,

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