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I did not make many changes to the original recipe. I did swap out the peas for fresh asparagus. Because it’s added toward the end of cooking time, it maintains a refreshing crunch. Also, I had originally tried sauteeing the vegetables in leftover bacon grease but I found that it made the soup unpleasantly salty. Instead, I highly recommend reserving the excess bacon grease for another recipe and using vegetable oil or butter for the vegetables. The bacon itself will add plenty of salt to the soup.
This soup serves four people. It’s fabulous served with a slab of crusty bread that’s been smeared with butter and a fruity jam.
spring mushroom soup with aromatic vegetables
adapted from www.oneperfectbite.blogspot.com
6 slices bacon
2 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 lb quartered cremini mushrooms
2 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 stalks fresh asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
In a large cast iron or other deep skillet, cook bacon until browned on both sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and let cool. Remove excess bacon grease and reserve for another purpose.
Add butter or vegetable oil to the skillet and cook until hot. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring continuously, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms release their liquid and have begun to brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Cut the bacon into small pieces and add to the mixture.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and stir until it makes a paste, about 1 minute. Add the stock, thyme and pepper and stir to combine.
Bring the soup to a full boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a separate skillet, cook the asparagus in some of the reserved bacon grease or vegetable oil until browned and slightly softened. Add the asparagus to the soup and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and add the cream. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.