I have an odd confession to make: I’ve never eaten buttered crackers before. Peanut buttered, yes – my mom used to sandwich saltines with peanut butter, and some of my clearest childhood memories are of squeezing them together so that it oozed out the holes on top, and that the all-natural just-peanuts butter my parents bought never squirted out as smoothly as the Skippy of my dreams.
So why did I start, after hearing sad tales of friends downing entire sleeves of crackers with cold butter on the couch in front of the PVR? Do I need another buttery carb in my life? No… but I do like to know what I’m missing out on. So I utilized some of my stash of unsalted butter – which I like for eating, not necessarily for baking – and a sleeve of salted crackers, and got to nibbling.
And so I tweeted about my snacky new find, and someone tweeted back: don’t stack them in the bottom of a bowl and pour mushroom soup over top! Don’t do it!
And so I did. As good an excuse as any to make a pot of mushroom soup, don’t you think?
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Ham is divine in mushroom soup – if you have a chunk left over, chop it and stir it in along with the mushrooms. Or if you have a ham bone, simmer it in the soup.
a drizzle of olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 cups sliced mushrooms – any kind
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
a splash of sherry or white wine (optional)
3-4 cups (or a 1L container) chicken stock
salt and pepper
1/2-1 cup cream (heavy or half & half)
Heat a drizzle of oil and about half the butter in a pot set over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook it for a few minutes, until it’s soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then the mushrooms, the rest of the butter, and pull the leaves off thyme off their stems and add them. If you like, add some chopped ham, too.
Cook until the mushrooms get soft, then the moisture cooks off and they start to turn golden. Shake the flour overtop and stir to coat the mushrooms with flour. If you like, add a splash of sherry or white wine, and let it cook off.
Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes, until smooth and thickened, then season with salt and pepper and stir in the cream. Serve over buttered crackers. Serves 4.