Saturday, 23 January 2010

Two Breads, One Soup

I promise you that is not ketchup all over my cream of broccoli soup.
I was trying to be fancy and puréed some roasted red peppers and drizzled them coulis-style all over the soup. Quite delicious, really a lovely addition to the already very tasty soup... and looks alarmingly like ketchup in the photo. Oh well.
The soup is actually fairly light and delicate for a cream soup. I don't tend to strain my soups and just used my immersion blender in the pot. I love the meatiness that the generous serving of mushrooms gives to the soup, making it more of a meal than a starter. Paired with Peter Reinhart's Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire, which I made into rolls, it was a lovely light dinner indeed. Quite worthy of a bottle of wine and a romantic CD. Or two.

And on the subject of bread..
Catching up with the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge, this week I baked up the Portuguese Sweet Bread from page 215 of Peter Reinhart's bread book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Also known as Hawaiian bread, this is an enriched bread, meaning that it contains sugar, milk, butter and eggs. The loaf takes only one day to ferment and bake, unlike many of the other breads, and makes for a terrific peanut butter sandwich. (Très gourmet, I know)
Powdered milk gives it a tender crumb and lemon, orange and vanilla extracts give it a mildly sweet and complex flavour. Plus it looks so cool, all dark and glistening from the sugars and egg wash. Definitely worth trying.

This bread has been Yeastspotted!
Cream of Broccoli Soup with Wild Mushrooms
Epicurious | September 2002
by Frédy Girardet
Girardet: Recipes from a Master of French Cuisine

Yield: Makes 4 servings

2 1/2 pounds broccoli
10 ounces wild mushrooms (Mine were button and cremini-not so wild..)
3 cups chicken stock
5/8 cup whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 shallot
(2 cloves garlic)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Cut off the broccoli florets and use only these for the soup. Wash and drain them. To make a vivid green soup, cook the florets, uncovered, in a large amount of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, until very well cooked. Drain, refresh in cold water so that they keep their color, and drain thoroughly.

2. Cut off and discard the earthy ends of the mushroom stalks. If you are using cèpes, simply wipe the caps with a cloth; wash all the other mushrooms briefly under running water.

3. Cut large mushrooms into approximately 1/8-inch slices, medium-sized mushrooms into quarters, and leave small ones whole. Place in an airtight container and keep cool.

4. Bring the chicken stock to a boil, pour it over the broccoli, and purée in a blender or a food processor. Pour the purée into a saucepan, add the cream, and season with salt and pepper. Strain the cream of broccoli through a fine sieve, and return it to the saucepan.

5. Peel the shallot and chop it very finely. Place in an airtight container and keep cool.

Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire
This is Peter Reinhart's favourite and signature bread, I made it into buns. So very delicious with the soaker of amaranth, rye flakes, and wheat bran and the addition of brown rice to the loaf. We could definitely see why it would be his favourite and it is now one of our favourites too - perfect with the soup.

Finishing Touches
-Cream of Broccoli Soup with Wild Mushrooms

1. Reheat the soup.

2. Heat a nonstick skillet until very hot, add the mushrooms, season with salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until the mushrooms have released all their moisture. When it has almost completely evaporated, stir in the butter and shallot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously, then scoop the mushrooms onto paper towels to drain. (I added garlic.. and didn't drain all those good flavours)


Pour the soup into warmed individual tureens or soup plates and pile a mound of hot mushrooms into the center.

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Not-so-Wild Mushrooms for Souper Sunday with Deb of Kahakai Kitchen