Occasionally, Mr. M and I take a trip into a neighboring town to shop at the Sam’s Club there. Last time, I found a great price on fresh mushrooms. I was delighted because I was getting low on one of my favorite homemade convenience foods, canned mushroom soup. I make two different types using recipes from one of my favorite websites for canning ideas. The reason I say ideas is that I am one of those cooks that cannot leave well enough alone. I have to make my own tweaks. So here is how I make my canned mushroom soups.
First I prepare the mushrooms by wiping the off with a damp cloth. I don’t wash or soak them because, as you know, I like to live on the edge. Actually, commercial mushrooms are grown in sterile compost so there are few contaminants on them. I wipe any obvious compost off so that the mushrooms are clean. Putting them in water makes them absorb the moisture and will dilute their flavor in the finished product. So, no washing!
After cleaning them, I slice them about ¼ inch thick. I am not exacting, just close:
As I slice them, I weigh them until I have enough for a recipe. Since I bought enough for more than one batch I just kept slicing until I was finished, setting aside each weighed amount as I reached it.
When I was finished slicing I started the recipe. Needless to say before I started anything, I prepared all of my canning equipment so that when the soup was ready I just had to do the canning part. All of it goes quickly, after the mushroom slicing is completed. That seems to take forever- if you can buy pre-sliced mushrooms it saves a lot of time and effort!
I usually make both a creamy mushroom soup and a “golden” mushroom soup (it’s really sort of brown). Our favorite is the darker one and it is great to use as a sauce. But I make and use the lighter one as a substitute for commercial canned condensed mushroom soup in recipes. It tastes a lot better and I know exactly what is in it!
Both recipes are essentially the same procedure. First melt the butter (and oil).
I like to let the butter brown ever so slightly, but it is not necessary and it can burn quite quickly. Add the mushrooms and sauté them until they are wilted. Then I add all except two cups of the broth, the ClearJel, (and the wine, if used) and all of the other ingredients, including the garlic and onion powder, if used. Bring the mixture to a boil. Mix the ClearJel with the reserved broth and add it, along with the wine and bring it back to a boil, Remove from heat and ladle it into the jars.
Now, usually when I am canning, I put the jars near the pot and fill and cap each jar individually. However, with my precious and delicious mushrooms, I wanted to put a relatively even amount of mushrooms in each jar so I tried to fill all of them before capping them. I managed to make quite a mess:
Unlike when I am canning tomatoes (which looks like the aftermath of a chainsaw massacre)
this is an easy clean up.
After canning the results are beautiful (and delicious):
Here is my adaptation of Dede’s original recipe:
Golden Mushroom Soup and Sauce Base
Servings: 9 pints
2 Tbsp. oil, divided
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
one gallon washed, trimmed and sliced mushrooms (16 cups)** (I use all or part Portabella Mushrooms)
2/3 cup ClearJel*
1/3 cup tomato paste (I use a small can)
6 (14 ounce) cans beef broth (That’s 10 and a half cups), divided
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic (not garlic salt!)
1 Tbs ground dry onion powder
1/2 cup Sherry Cooking Wine or Marsala (actually, I just use any wine I have)
**If buying pre-sliced, this is 3 pounds (it’s about 4 pounds of whole)
Melt together 2 Tbsp. oil and the butter in a large stockpot.
Add mushrooms, sauté 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the tomato paste until smooth. Add all except 2 cups of the broth stirring well. Add spices. Bring to nearly a boil. Combine the ClearJel with the reserved 2 cups of broth, whisking until smooth. Add to the pot gradually, stirring well. Add the wine. Continue stirring over medium heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Ladle mixture into hot jars, debubble, leaving 1″ headspace, cap. Pressure can at 10 lbs. for 45 minutes (adjusted for your altitude).
Creamy Mushroom Soup and Sauce Base
Servings: 5 pints
1/3 cup butter
1 pound mushrooms, chopped or sliced
3/4 cup ClearJel*
2 quarts beef stock
1 tsp. dried onion powder
½ tsp granulated garlic
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp. lemon juice
Melt butter. Add mushrooms and cook until slightly browned.
Add stock, saving 2 cups to mix with the ClearJel.
Whisk the reserved stock stock and ClearJel together.
Mix all ingredients and heat until it boils, stirring often.
Ladle mixture into hot jars, debubble, leaving 1″ headspace, cap. Pressure can at 10 lbs. for 45 minutes (adjusted for your altitude).
When opening to use, add equal amount of milk and soup. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
*If you don’t know what ClearJel is, I will be posting about that tomorrow, so don’t try to make these until after then!
Now here is my question: would you rather use the commercially made white goo passed off as mushroom soup or this?