Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mushroom Soup vDifferent

The basic mushroom soup,
Take lots of butter and sautee some shallots until translucent, dump in sliced mushrooms and sweat for around 7-8 minutes, pour in chicken stock and simmer for an hour, blend, add some sherry (can put in some herbs too) and bring to almost boil, serve,
is really good and really simple. It takes, from beginning to end, about 1:30 hours but 1/3 of the time you're swooning over the smell of sauteed shallots and the other 2/3 of the time the wonderful aroma of cooking mushrooms is running rampant throughout your abode, a good omen I'm told. Bourdain suggests some wild mushrooms thrown in to the mix for a bit more oomph or a dash of truffle oil at the end for pretension. Both work wonders.

Good as this basic recipe is, the soup is sometimes almost TOO mushroomy. As I was smelling the remains of my last batch (what, you don't sniff cooked foods from the fridge just for fun?) of mushroom soup, I wondered what else I could do with it. I had tried mushroom risotto with it with limited success but what if I wanted something else in the soup itself? A splash of color or something...veggie. Ideas to implement:

Peas. The fresh taste of cooked peas.
Pan seared asparagus...sweet, buttery, and slightly salty.
Something squashy.
Baby bok choy, lightly stir-fried flavor of.

Any of the above might will probably need to be pureed and added to the soup for yuppie presentation. I'm thinking an outer ring of mushroom soup, a middle ring of bright green something and an inner core of mushroom soup. The problem is it has to taste good IN the soup, not with it. I think some experimentation is in order...

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