Thursday, 25 September 2008

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

Ok, before we get to the soup, I have a message for my girl Ina. Let your man get his boat. Honestly, he is not getting any younger and he really wants one. You guys can afford to have it taken care of. The house is paid off, you are both successful. I am sure that he would get you whatever you wanted. The man wants a boat. Ok. On to the soup.

This week in Barefoot Blogging, Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup was chosen by Chelle of Brown Eyed Baker. The recipe can also be found in Barefoot Contessa at Home, page 48.

Well, you can't go too wrong with cream of mushroom soup, can you? Yes, this is a feel-good soup with lots of butter and cream. You don't want to have it every day, but, goodness is it tasty.

I made it the other night and made a fougasse from Dough: Simple Contemporary Bread to go with it. This is the first time that I have made fougasse and it is a bit like a cross between breadsticks and focaccia. It was very nice with the soup!
I could not find shiitakes or porcinis so I was a little light on the mushrooms (12oz rather than 150z), I added one chopped baby zucchini to make up for it. It blended in very nicely.

5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
5 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms
5 ounces fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Don't wash them! Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if there are big, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, the onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not, add some water.

Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.

This was a family pleaser, nothing says loving like the classics done well. Ina has never let me down.