DEAR JEANNE: This recipe for mushroom soup is delicious, but loaded with fat. Any suggestions for a less-fattening soup would be great! — Ellen James, San Diego

CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

1 pound mushrooms

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 small onion, sliced

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 1/2 cups water

3 chicken-flavor bouillon cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup whipping cream

1. Trim tough stem ends of mushrooms; remove stems; set aside. With a knife, slice mushroom caps thinly.

2. In 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, in the hot butter or margarine, cook sliced mushrooms and lemon juice until mushrooms are just tender, stirring.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low; with slotted spoon, remove mushrooms to bowl. In saucepan in remaining butter, cook onion and mushroom stems; cook until onion is tender.

4. Stir in flour until blended; cook 1 minute, stirring the mixture constantly.

5. Gradually stir in water and bouillon; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened.

6. Into blender container, ladle half of the mixture; cover and, at high speed, blend until smooth. Repeat with other half.

7. Return mixture to saucepan; stir in salt, pepper, cream and mushroom slices; reheat just until soup is boiling.

Makes 6 servings.

 

DEAR ELLEN: What wouldn’t be delicious, with all that butter and cream? However, it is possible to make it with 30 grams less fat per serving and still have a delicious soup! The choice of mushrooms is up to you. I used cremini mushrooms, which also are called “baby bellas.” When they grow up, they become portobello mushrooms. They are readily available and have a bit more flavor than button mushrooms. You can use any kind you prefer. Also, if you prefer, you may use canned evaporated skim milk. I tried to make it taste as close to the original as possible, and that is accomplished with fat-free half-and-half.

VERY-LOW-FAT CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

1 pound mushrooms

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided use

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

31/2 cups fat-free chicken broth

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup fat-free half-and-half

1. Wipe and trim stem ends on mushrooms. Cut off stems and chop. Slice the caps and keep separate.

2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, place 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and add the chopped onion. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the garlic and the chopped mushroom stems. Cook another 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently and adding chicken broth as necessary to prevent scorching. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth.

3. Pour onion mixture into blender, cover with a lid with a hole in the center and a dish cloth. Hold down while blending. (Hot liquid must be vented or it can be dangerous.) Blend until smooth.

4. In the same empty saucepan, heat the remaining 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, saute the sliced mushroom caps for 2 minutes over medium heat; add the lemon juice. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth. Add the blended mixture, the chicken broth and a few grinds of pepper to the pot. Stir constantly, and bring to a boil. Add the half-and-half and heat through.

Makes 6 servings.

Each 1-cup serving contains approximately:

Original recipe: 329 calories; 31 g fat; 96 mg cholesterol; 906 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 1 g fiber.

Revised recipe: 79 calories; 1 g fat; negligible cholesterol; 50 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber.

 

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently “Cooking From the Cupboard” (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her Web site, jeannejones.com. Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (61 cents), self-addressed envelope.

 

– King Features Syndicate