Insulated Jar & Sides #9

Raspberries, cherries, homemade cream of mushroom soup, and an experimental broccoli-egg salad.

I'm actually going to give you two recipes today, because both things I made were pretty great. Canned condensed mushroom soup was so ubiquitous in the last half of the 20th century as a lazy substitute for white sauce that a lot of people have never actually eaten the real thing. This is pretty well nothing like that. It's got a really sophisticated, mushroom-y flavor and I wouldn't dream of dumping it in a tuna noodle casserole.

The salad, meanwhile, was made from desperation once I discovered my bacon had gone bad (I do have a tendency to ignore bacon too long) and I couldn't make my usual broccoli salad. But this is actually really good, so I'm glad it was necessary to try! It also rendered my lunch vegetarian, or would have if I'd made this soup with vegetable stock. I didn't this time but you easily could, so this is tagged vegetarian.

Let's start with the mushroom soup. I adapted this recipe from one in my 1978 Cookery for 1 or 2.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Serves: 2-3

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 small onion, chopped, divided
5 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I make mine from Better than Bouillon)
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk or half-and-half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Seasoned salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cooking sherry

 Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a nonstick skillet. Add half of the onion (1/4 of an onion) and sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring, adding a bit of salt toward the end of the cooking process to draw out the liquid. Remove from heat.

Add half the cooked mushroom mixture, raw onion, and chicken or vegetable stock to a blender. Cover and blend until a smooth puree. Add remaining cooked mushroom mixture and pulse a few times so they are chopped somewhat finely but not pureed. (You'll probably still have a slice or two of mushrooms in tact to float prettily in your soup later.)

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until frothy. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until frothy, but do not allow to brown. Slowly whisk in milk or half-and-half a bit at at time (to avoid making flour lumps; once this is not a danger anymore you can just dump the whole thing in). Add parsley and Worcestireshire and simmer, stirring, until thickened and smooth.

Add mushroom mixture and cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If it ends up too thick for you, add a little more milk or broth. Add seasoned salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in sherry.

And now, the salad.

Broccoli-Egg Salad
Serves: 1

About 1/3 cup small broccoli florets
1 hard boiled egg
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon mayo
Salt and pepper to taste

Blanch broccoli in boiling water until bright green, about 1 minute, then shock in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

Peel the egg. Split and remove yolks. Chop the whites and mash the yolks a bit with a fork--not all the way mashed, but somewhat. Mix sugar and mayo with the yolks, then add broccoli and whites. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. I love mushroom soup as well as broccoli, they look so yummy and mouth watering! Thank you for sharing the recipes!

    1. Thanks, Rina! Let me know if you try either of them.


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