Friday, September 26, 2008

Ina's Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup-BB

Barefoot Bloggers time has snuck up on me! I can't believe it, this month is flying by. Our recipe for this week was chosen by Chelle of Brown Eyed Baker. She chose Ina's Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup from the episode: Mystery Guest. It can also be found in, "Barefoot Contessa at Home", pg.48. The mystery guest episode is one of my favorites because Mel Brooks is the mystery. Who wouldn't like that? Sadly, we had no such luck at dinner last night :) but we did enjoy the lovely soup on the patio with a nice little fire going. Ahhh fall, don't cha just love it!

As for the recipe, I only made a few changes. I read in the musings of fellow BB's that it was possible to change the dairy ratio in the dish. Ina calls for 1 cup of half & half and 1 cup of heavy cream. Now, as yummy as that sounds, I wanted to attempt to lighten it up. So, I took the advice of another BB and used 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups of milk. The soup was still very creamy. I had to adjust the mushroom quantities a little, due to grocery supplies and at the end I added a splash of golden sherry, just to give it a bit more depth. One word of warning: if your only relationship to creamy soups is with canned condensed glop, you should be nicely surprised to find out what a cream soup sans chemicals tastes and feels like. I served it with a crusty whole grain bread which we toasted on the grill and some creamy, room temp Camembert cheese.

Ina's Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
serves 5-6

3.5 oz fresh shitake mushrooms
6 oz fresh portobella mushrooms
6 oz fresh cremini mushrooms
1 tbl 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 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
splash of golden sherry
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 they 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.

This is a lovely mushroom stock, and would be a nice base for other soups as well.

A note regarding leeks if they are new to you. They can be very sandy, so, after chopping them up be sure to rinse them thoroughly, separating the slices under running water. This will allow you to rid them of any sand or dirt.

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, sherry, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.

Dinner is served.....


kat said...

Looks like such a perfect fall soup.

vermilion girl said...

Hi Kim
Awww the exit of summer.
The photo of your chimenea and sensationally cozy garden patio retreat make it hard for me to beleive it is already autumn. I wonder what the woolly bear winter prediction be for this year? Guess we'll find out at the 36th Woolly Bear Festival in Vermilion on Oct 5th. Bring on the fall foliage, fall harvest, hearty soups, savory stews and all the tricks and treats!!

Prudy said...

Wow that's gorgeous soup and I love the pretty location that you have to eat it in. How festive.

Sarah said...

This looks delicious and right up Hubby's alley... he loves anything mushroom ! I'll have to try it... :o)

Rachel said...

Sounds like something to whip up soon one of these rainy September days. Maybe an October day, now that I'm running out of September

Alex Rushmer said...

Looks like a pretty perfect setting for a tasty looking soup