Yep, it’s a tradition for many. My kids don’t like it, but there may be serious weeping among the grownups if it isn’t on the Thanksgiving table!
There are two ways that I use to make the mushroom sauce. The easiest one is to get a box of Imagine’s Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup. Saute up some onions until they begin to caramelize, toss some sliced mushrooms into the pan and cook down. Mix the soup into the pan of onions and mushrooms. Put a couple of tablespoons (2-3 tablespoons depending how thick you want it) of cornstarch or arrowroot or kudzu dissolved in cold water. Put the starch water into the soup and cook until thickened. Mix thickened soup with thawed and drained frozen French-cut green beans. Put into a baking pan, top with crispy onions and bake in the oven until warm and bubbly. Not so much a recipe, but super simple.
The other is to start by making your own creamy mushroom soup. It takes a bit more time, but, oh, so yummy! But before anything, you need the crispy onions. Oh, yes, the onions! I make these ahead and either refrigerate or freeze until I need them. I will be making these today and storing in the fridge until Thursday.
Crispy Onions (or Faux French’s)
I use small onions for this to make it look more authentic… Also, you could make a smaller batch (half sized) if you don’t have a family that snatches the completed onions off the paper towels as fast as you can cook them!
6 small onions, sliced thinly
2 cups unsweetened milk substitute of choice (rice, almond, etc.)
2 cups gluten free flour blend of your choice (I have made this with a bean based and rice blend without any problem… I just use what is on hand)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Soak the onions in the milk substitute for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a deep pan or deep fryer (to about 300 degrees) Season the gluten free flour blend with salt, pepper and paprika.
After the onions have soaked, place a handful into the flour blend, tossing with a fork until coated in flour. Fry in the hot oil until light golden brown, flipping the onions if needed to brown evenly. I make these a lighter brown as they with darken more in the oven. Take the onions out of the oil and drain on paper towels. Continue to cook in batches until the onions are all cooked.
Allow to cool completely before storing in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.
The soup and green bean casserole is a gluten and dairy free adaption I do of a recipe from Lynne Rossetto Kasper of the Splendid Table. So, so good! This is an amazing soup on it’s own.
Lynne’s Green Bean Casserole with Fresh Mushrooms and a Bonus
Fresh greens beans, juicy sauteed mushrooms and shreds of browned onion bake in a creamy sauce. Do the beans up to a day ahead, saute the mushrooms up to 3 hours ahead. Assemble everything and bake it off when you need it. Use organic ingredients if possible. Serves 6.
1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (I use French cut beans)
2 quarts boiling salted water
3 tablespoons cold-pressed safflower or canola oil (I use olive or coconut oil)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1/2 cup dry sherry or white wine
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
2 cups coconut milk (or one cup unsweetened almond milk and one cup coconut milk)
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Drop the green beans into the boiling water and boil, uncovered, 5 to 7 minutes, tasting for doneness. Beans should be just tender. Drain in a colander. (I use thawed frozen French cut beans, so I skip this step.)
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet (preferably not non-stick) over high heat. Drop the onions into the pan and stir, cooking 4 minutes, or until browned. Turn off the heat and quickly lift the onions out of the pan with, leaving the oil behind. Drain them on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a shallow 1-1/2 quart casserole. Reheat the oil over high. Stir in the mushrooms, cooking until they are browned. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the wine, bay leaves, and cloves. Boil off most of the wine, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Stir in the coconut milk. Turn heat to medium and simmer a few minutes to thicken slightly.
Remove the bay and cloves. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in the beans. Turn everything into casserole and lightly cover with foil. Bake about 20 minutes to bubbling, top with onions and bake another 3 minutes. Serve hot.
The Bonus – A Variation:
Here’s a recipe for a delicious homemade cream of mushroom soup — make it even 2 days ahead. Cook the beans and onions as directed above. Just blend together the beans with half the soup and bake. Serve the other half of the soup as a special treat on another evening.
Lynne’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
This is a lush soup best eaten in small portions. The potato replaces some of the flour, thickening the soup with more flavor. Serves 8 to 10, or makes one casserole and 4 servings of soup.
3 tablespoons oil
1-1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, minced
4 large shallots, minced (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons corn starch (or 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour)
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 medium yellow finn or red-skin potato, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup coconut milk
In a 12-inch skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Quickly saute the mushrooms until golden, adding half the onion and shallot to the pan about halfway through cooking. Season with salt and pepper and add the wine. Boil off two-thirds of it, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Set aside.
In a 4-quart sauce pan melt the second measure of oil over medium heat and whisk in the corn starch, cooking about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth until smooth. Add half the mushrooms and their liquid along with the potato. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes, partially covered, or until rich in flavor with no raw flour taste. Puree in a blender, return to the pot and stir in the coconut milk and remaining mushrooms with their liquid. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes, taste for seasoning and serve hot.