Smoothies. These are usually fruity. Berries, bananas, mangos, mixed with some sort of dairy like yogurt or milk. Sometimes people get brave and slip in kale or spinach to pack an extra veggie punch. But what about “savory” smoothies? Like throwing together cooked turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and brussels sprouts, and blending it all into a velvety, drinkable form? Liquid Thanksgiving = Liquid Gold! Hey, don’t think I haven’t already thought of a marketing plan for this. My key demographic would be the affluent Seabond/Fixodent set, astronauts, and Mike Tyson. Ka-ching!
OK, so savory smoothies might be a bit fringe for everyone else. But taking a typically “solid” entrée and making it into a soup? Why not. And what better base than the classic Green Bean Casserole from which to launch this idea. I can’t take full credit for this recipe. My inspiration is the Creamy Green Bean Soup cooked up by the gang at Spring Street Deli & Pizzeria. This neighborhood joint–a few blocks from home, and just far enough off the beaten downtown path to retain its authenticity and reasonable prices–has a stellar offering of soups that change on a daily basis (become a fan on Facebook for drool-inducing updates). Since their Creamy Green Bean Soup isn’t part of their rotating repertoire nearly often enough, I just had to come up with my own version.
Souped Up Green Bean Casserole
- Few tablespoons butter
- Large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 1 lb. trimmed fresh or frozen green beans
- Large can (26 oz.) cream of mushroom soup*
- Soup can-full of milk*
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- French fried onions, for garnish
Directions: In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and saute until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, when juices are released and the mixture is sort of goopy, about 5 minutes. Stir in green beans and cook a few minutes more. Add canned soup* and can full of milk* and stir thoroughly. Reduce heat to
medium-low, cover, and cook gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally pretty often. Don’t walk away to change your cat’s litter, sort laundry, or anything else that takes more than 5 minutes, because chances are pretty good that this will happen*:
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. In batches, transfer soup mixture to a blender, and puree until smooth. (I suppose you could also use a food processor, but I have never used one, so wouldn’t know. But this is the part of the recipe where that’s usually thrown in. For me, the $10 blender I got at Caldor before college does the trick.) Return pureed mixture to saucepan and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot (duh), garnished with French fried onions.
*For a lower-fat, less messy, fancier variant of this recipe: Replace large can of cream of mushroom soup with a container of organic portabello mushroom soup like this one, sold at our local Hannaford, and use a can of chicken broth in lieu of milk.
Bonus: Take a sample of this soup to your local Sherwin-Williams mixologist for color matching. The muted green-beige color would make a righteous wall color.