ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Earthy Mushroom Stew--savory vegetarian comfort food for a cold winter day

Updated on August 21, 2017
Carb Diva profile image

Exploring food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes... one ingredient at a time.

Source
5 stars from 1 rating of Mushroom stew

Something wonderful this way comes

Serendipity: [ser-uhn-dip-i-tee]

Today I found serendipity--or it found me. I was shopping in my local mega-grocery store, and there in the produce section was a large plastic bag of button and cremini mushrooms. Not quite fresh, but not ready for the compost bin. And the produce manager had marked them down to half-price!

So now, my challenge was to create a dinner recipe that would focus on the wonderful taste of mushrooms and not worry quite so much about their appearance. Sure, I could have tossed them into a pot of spaghetti sauce, but I wanted to do something a bit more imaginative.

I had in my files a recipe from Sunset Magazine (October 2006) for "Mushroom Potato Soup with Smoked Paprika". That original recipe called for dried porcinis, pancetta, wine, and chicken stock. A great recipe, but I decided to play with it a bit to turn into a vegetarian meal that my entire family could enjoy. Here's what I did:

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 5 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups russet potato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup wide noodles, (I used No Yolk egg noodles)
  • 3 cups mushroom broth, * (see note below)

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter. When butter is melted toss in onion; cook about 5 minutes or until soft and beginning to color slightly. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are browned--about 5 minutes more. Stir in paprika and tomato paste. Cook for about 2 minutes to meld flavors and remove from heat. Set aside.
  2. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in a large saucepan. Add diced potatoes; cook for 10 minutes and then remove with skimmer and set aside. In same saucepan cook the noodles according to package directions. Remove with skimmer and set aside.
  3. Reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid from the saucepan and set aside.
  4. Place the mushroom broth in the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the reserved potatoes, noodles, 2 cups reserved cooking liquid, and onion/mushroom mixture. Simmer until heated--about 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. * I used creamy portabello, but you could use vegetable broth, or (if you aren't worried about creating a vegetarian meal) chicken or beef broth.

Why this Recipe Works

Typically when we think of stew we imagine an assortment of vegetables and chunks of protein cloaked in a thickened meaty gravy. What can we do in the kitchen to create the sensory taste of meat and still create a vegetarian meal? The key to the puzzle is understanding the science of taste.

There are five distinct tastes that the human tongue recognizes--sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami.

The first four you are probably familiar with:

  • sweet is a pleasurable sensation produced by sugars.
  • Sourness is the detection of acidity--the most common foods that contain the sour taste are citrus fruits, some melons, and some unripened fruits.
  • Saltiness is mostly from the presence of sodium.
  • A bitter taste is usually deemed unpleasant or disagreeable. Black coffee and unsweetened chocolate fall into this category.

And then there is umami. Umami is a Japanese word for "pleasant savory taste"--a MEATY taste. There are several natural, non-meat foods that have a umami flavor--tomatoes, mushrooms, soy, potatoes, carrots, and Parmesan cheese.

So, if you create this stew for your family, you will be giving them an uber-umami taste without meat.

© 2011 Linda Lum

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Kristen Howe - Thank you for taking the time to comment on my Hub. I hope you find the time to try this recipe. Let me know if you like it. Blessings on your day!

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Hello justthemessenger - Please write back after you've tried this recipe. I would love your feedback. Thanks for stopping by.

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 

      3 years ago from The Great Midwest

      Mushroom stew sounds good. And, I actually have or can get the ingredients at my local Kroger brand grocery store. I'll try and fix this. Good hub, short and sweet.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great recipe, Carb Diva. I do love mushrooms. I'm going to give it a try sometime soon.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Thank you Patsybell. We have it often, especially on these cold winter days. I hope you enjoyed it too.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      I came back to get this recipe. To me it is not vegetarian, it is just good mushroom soup and very creative. I love that you just seized an opportunity and made a great meal.

      Thank you.^+

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Joyfulcrown I hope that you enjoy this. I made it again last week, and in place of noodles I used the broken pieces of lasagna that always seem to be at the bottom of the package. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      I can't wait to try this. I love mushrooms. Thanks for sharing.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Thelma Alberts - Happy New Year to you as well. So glad to know that you enjoyed this.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      3 years ago from Germany

      Yummy! This is a delicious soup. I love mushrooms. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Happy New Year!

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Hello vocalcoach. I love stews and soups, especially when the weather is cold, as it is now. I am glad you found me and hope you enjoy this recipe. After you're tried it would love to hear back from you.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Mushrooms are both nutritious and tasty so I will be trying your recipe for stew very soon. Thanks for sharing.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      BWD316 I hope that you enjoy this. Thank you for stopping by.

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 

      3 years ago from Connecticut

      I have a new love for mushrooms lately and this looks like a perfect soup recipe to try! Love that it's vegetarian too!

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      peachpurple I love the simplicity of soups--everything simmering in one pot. And I love the way it makes the whole house smell warm and loving. Please let me know if you try this recipe. I'd love to get your feedback.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I love warm soups that perks me up at night

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Hello AudreyHowitt. I am so glad that you visited my hub. This is comfort food for a cold winter day. I hope you take the time to try my recipe and, if so, please write again.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      3 years ago from California

      This sounds wonderful and right up my alley!

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Thank you Susan Recipes. I hope you enjoy it.

    • Susan Recipes profile image

      Susan 

      3 years ago from India

      Wow.. This stew looks so delicious. I am going to try this soon. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Thank you Patsybell. Your opinion means a lot to me.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      My family will love this, if I don't say the word vegetarian. For us, it will be just mushroom soup or stew. Voted up, pinned.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Hi YogaKat - Smoked paprika can be found in the spice section of your grocery store. It has a smoky aroma and flavor. I hope you enjoy this dish. After you cook it, please write back.

    • YogaKat profile image

      YogaKat 

      3 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      I am a mushroom lover. Potatoes and noodles will make this soup hearty. I'm looking forward to cooking this up, though I must say I have never heard of smoked paprika before. I assume it is the spice section of the grocery store . . . I'm sure it adds color . . . but does it taste like regular paprika?

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      4 years ago from Washington State, USA

      vespawoolf thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you liked it.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Wow, what a delicious recipe! How nice you were able to get the cremini mushrooms at half price. We would have to use another variety here in Peru, but I definitely want to try this. Mushrooms definitely have umami flavor...thank you for sharing!

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      Voted up and useful. Sounds so inviting on this wintery day.

      I can't wait to try this recipe. I like your style. Probably wouldn't have given the original recipe a look. But I'll be looking for mushrooms and will make Your recipe.

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 

      7 years ago from Australia

      I love any dish that has mushrooms in it. They are awesome. Gotta try this recipe.

    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 

      7 years ago from Florida

      This sounds delicious!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)