Since the opening of its first Souplantation in 1978 in San Diego, California, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation has expanded to 61 salad buffet restaurants with locations in Southern California, where they are known as Souplantation, and in Northern California and ten other states, where they are known as Sweet Tomatoes. Differing in name only, the restaurants are known for their abundance of fresh, great tasting salad selections, soups, bakery items, pastas and desserts in a self-serve format, set in a casual dining atmosphere.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP
Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes Copycat Recipe
5 cups sliced mushrooms, 1/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)
1 cup celery, 1/2 inch thick (about 1 1/2 large ribs)
1/2 stick salted butter, plus 2 1/2 tablespoons, divided
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
4 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 1/4 cup swater
1 tablespoon beef base
1 tablespoon chicken base
2 cups whole milk
1 cup half and half
salt and pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan, combine mushrooms, celery, 1 stick butter and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 15 minutes or until vegetables have cooked down and released their juices. Remove from heat and set aside. Do not discard liquid.
While mushrooms and celery are cooking, in a large saucepan, melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter over medium heat and stir in flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add water in 1/2 cup increments, stirring between each addition to be sure no lumps form. Add beef base and chicken base and bring mixture to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Soup will thicken. Stir in milk, half and half and reserved mushrooms and celery, with their cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.