Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sugar and Spice

Only the pure of heart can make good soup.

Today's dark, rainy countenance encouraged indoor culinary pursuits. I began by making a batch of food for Cat. She approved. Then, using a recipe that appeared in the local newspaper, I made a pot of mushroom soup for the 'other' residents of the house. Fungi porcini were not available in the neighbourhood 'no frills' store so its 'wild' flavour was a bit tame. Nevertheless, it was quite delicious. I liked the addition of walnuts.

Wild Mushroom Soup
Yield: 6 servings

2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
1 1/2 lb (675 g) wild and white mushrooms
2 oz (60 g) dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted
1 cup (250 mL) ground walnuts
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup (60 mL) flour
6 cups (1.5 L) hot chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup (80 mL) dry sherry
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh thyme
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
salt and pepper, to taste
sauteed mushrooms and/or crumbled blue cheese, for garnish

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot on high heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, walnuts, onion, garlic, celery and bay leaves and saute until lightly browned (5 to 10 minutes).
2. Reduce heat to medium, stir in flour and cook for another 2 minutes. Stirring constantly, slowly add hot broth and sherry and bring to a boil.
3. Let simmer for 20 minutes and remove bay leaves.
4. Remove from heat and, using an immersion blender, pulse until mushrooms are nearly pureed or until desired consistency.
5. Return to heat, bring to a boil and add thyme and cream. Stir to combine. Garnish with sauteed wild mushrooms and/or crumbled blue cheese, if desired, and serve.

Recipe Source: California Walnut Commission

After lunch Mom and I pulled out the coloured sugars and sparkles and began decorating the cookies for next weekend's church bazaar.

I was quite pleased with the results. But I don't think we're ready to go commercial. ;-)

As of this evening, we have 46 vanilla cookies and untold numbers of gingerbread . . . there remains a big box of the latter that need to be decorated over the next few days. Sweet (and cinnamony) dreams. May visions of sugar cookies dance through your head.


Anonymous said...

Soup on a cold November day - mmmmmm


OMG you mean it's almost THAT time --- to eat up the winter blues.

Todays word: prizert

Anonymous said...

The soup sounds delicious! I think I'll need to try this one.
And the cookies look very professional. I wish mine looked like that.


Anonymous said...

We had the soup tonight and it was very yummy, even Samantha had some. I also didn't have any porcini but maybe next time. I'll have to send you a recipe for a tomato soup using cannelini beans. I tweaked it a bit and added roasted red peppers. MMMM


Shari said...

I'd love to try your tomato soup. Please do share!