It's coziness in a bowl.
Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Branson, Missouri is a dinner show attraction that features horses, trick riders, and music, though it's the 4-course dinner served alongside that’s often the main attraction. The meal is an experience in and of itself (you get a whole rotisserie chicken and a smoked pork loin), but the creamy vegetable soup gets all of the rave reviews. How can you make this popular soup at home? I set off to the internet to find out.
What Is Dolly Parton’s Stampede Soup?
It’s exactly what it sounds like, a creamy soup with vegetables in it. The soup is served as the first course during the stampede and from what I could tell, it’s a surprisingly simple dish. There are plenty of copycat versions of it on the internet, but I didn’t have any luck finding a published recipe from Parton (or her team) for the dish. You can buy a bag of “creamy soup mix” online or at the show, but I guess you have to know someone to get your hands on the actual recipe.
How to Make This Creamy Vegetable Soup
After reviewing many online recipes, I finally came up with a game plan. Most of the online recipes began with making a simple roux, so that’s where I started too. I melted the butter, added the flour, and whisked and cooked it for at least 4 or 5 minutes before continuing with the recipe. Next, I added seasonings (powdered versions of onion and garlic), chopped, cooked vegetables, and broth. I then simmered everything for a bit before finishing with cream.
Stampede Soup Taste Test
It was creamy and tasty, but definitely lacked richness and depth. This was likely a result of the short cooking time and the absence of aromatics, like whole onion and garlic. I felt like it was fine, but definitely needed some adjustments to make it great. I wanted to make Dolly proud!
How I Adjusted the Recipe
Step 1: Make the roux, but better. Many of the recipes call for margarine, but I know that butter tastes better, so I went with butter to make my roux. I also cooked my roux for at least 4 or 5 minutes to fully cook the flour and to build flavor. I also increased the amount of roux a bit for a creamier end product.
Step 2: Skip the water. To boost the flavor, I opted to use chicken broth in place of water. I chose low-sodium so that I could control the salt when seasoning at the end.
Step 3: Cut back on the cream. Several versions of this recipe call for 1 1/2 to 2 cups of heavy cream. I found that to be too much. That’s why I added a bit more chicken broth and decreased the cream to 1 cup.
Step 4: Simmer longer. For a soup to develop flavor, it needs to simmer for a bit of time. I found that simmering for at least 30 minutes after adding the broth helped give this soup an extra pop of flavor.
Step 6: Add lemon juice to finish. Creamy soups can often feel “flat.” This soup felt that way to me. A quick solution was the addition of a squeeze of lemon juice just before finishing.
Dolly Parton's Stampede Soup Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/4 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
lemon wedges, for serving
Cook vegetables following package directions. Drain and finely chop.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pot set over medium heat. Whisk in flour; stir until smooth and combined. Continuing cooking and whisking until deep golden in color, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add onion powder, garlic powder, and white pepper and whisk until combined.
Whisk stock into mixture then bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking slowly and constantly. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a simmer; cook, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in cooked vegetables and heavy cream. Season to taste with salt.
Portion into bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve with a lemon wedge.
Tip: If you want even more flavor, consider swapping 1/2 cup finely chopped onion for onion powder and 1 or 2 cloves minced garlic for garlic powder. Cook them in the butter before making the roux.
Read the original article on All Recipes.