Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cream of Mushroom Soup

More Veggies! Oh wait, some of you aren't that fond of vegetables, are you. Oh well, you'll live. This comes out of Simple French Cooking but I tend to think of it as a more hobbitish dish. Yup, we're raiding Farmer Maggot's crop for mushrooms. Make sure to get small onions when it says small, otherwise you end up with more of an onion-y taste than is really appetizing. *raises hand* I made that mistake. It only gets stronger as time goes on. If at all possible, use absolutely everything fresh. If you want a really even and smooth texture, put it through a tamis at least once.

The Menu:
Seared Strip Steak with Lemony Couscous Tabboulleh
Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 banana
5 oz. Madeira

1 lb. Small firm fresh mushrooms, brown works better than white.
1/4 c. unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 small shallots, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped. (Small means smaller than a baseball. Anything larger than that, I suggest only using half.)
1 white potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice ( I used a Yukon Gold)
2 c. Chicken broth
Kosher salt
1 c. Heavy cream
2-3 Tbls. Madeira wine, preferably imported (I used this.)
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
2 oz. Brie, rind removed and sliced into 10-12 thin pieces
Chopped fresh basil for garnish

How to:
1)Remember to brush off the mushrooms instead of rinsing them. Trim the stems and chop the mushrooms coarsely.

2) Melt the butter in a large saute or sauce pan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the shallots and onion. Simmer those, stirring now and then, until they are translucent and soft but not browned. It should take 5-6 minutes.

3) Add all the mushrooms to the skillet and bring the heat up to medium. Saute the bunch, stirring and tossing it constantly until the mushrooms start to release their liquid. It should take 8-10 minutes but don't let the onions brown. If they do, it will give the soup a slightly burnt flavor.

4) Now add the potatoes, chicken broth, and some kosher salt until it tastes right to you. Simmer the entire concoction for 15-20 minutes, keeping it partially covered. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the simmer.

5)Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool somewhat. Pull out the food processor (or blender. That's all we had.) and ladle some of the soup into it. Blend it until you have a smooth puree. Continue to add more of the mushroom mixture and blend until smooth. (At this point, put the puree through a tamis if you want an incredibly smooth and even texture.) Once all of the mixture has been pureed, put it back in the saucepan and add the cream.

6) Bring the heat to medium-low and almost simmer the contents of your saucepan. Don't let it boil though.

7) Add the Madeira until you like the flavor along with a little of the nutmeg and pepper.

8) Ladle into warmed bowls and top it with a few of your slices of Brie along with sprinkling some of the basil.

The Brie absolutely makes this. It adds a really nice counterpoint to the mushrooms and harmonizes beautifully with the Madeira. This was the first time I'd used Madeira and I'm hooked. I love the stuff. If you can, get something from Portugal since that's where it originated. Do yourself a favor and pour about an ounce while you're cooking. That way you know what it tastes like on its own. You might even like it that way.

They say it serves 4. I think we got 6-8 servings out of this. Scale it as you need to. The odds of buying cream of mushroom soup will probably go down considerably. This tastes nothing like the canned counterpart. It's richer and smoother with a lot more body to it.

Food processor/blender
Large Saute pan/saucepan

Health info:
2 veggie Servings
1 Fat Serving

::Malloreth out::


At 1:16 PM, Anonymous dinky said...

What is the sodium content on this soup. CoM is hubby's absolute favorite.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Malloreth said...

It's really up to you. I use unsalted butter which doesn't have any sodium in it and low-sodium chicken broth. The low-sodium chicken broth is 70 mg per cup so it's only 140 mg in the whole pot. Other than that it's all about how much salt you add. Part of the reason I use kosher salt is that I don't end up using as much for the same effect. Something about the structure and coarser grains causes this. Even so, I don't use above about a teaspoon in the whole pot.


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