Monday, March 10, 2014

Rosie Makes A Sublime Wild Mushroom Soup. Is That A Shroup?

The Hawthornes had lunch out 
at a new restaurant the other day,
the Saltbox Café on Colington Road
(And I liked it!),
and I had the mushroom soup for starters.

Stay tuned for posts about our meals there.
Yes, meals.
We liked it so much the first time for lunch
that we came back for the Sunday brunch.

Now, I have to make mushroom soup myself.
'twas that good!

 I've never made mushroom soup before,
but I'm starting out making a mushroom stock.
I've been saving mushroom stems
and odd pieces of shrooms in the freezer for just such a project.
 Mushroom Stock
1 TB unsalted butter
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
14.6 oz. mushroom pieces
That's the amount I happened to have in the freezer.
If you wanted to throw caution to the wind
and use an entire pound of mushrooms, please do so.
1 stalk celery
celery leaves
I always try to buy celery with leaves on it.
Excellent source of flavor.
1 carrot
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
3 fresh bay leaves
(One if dried.)
fresh thyme sprigs
2 quarts water
Kosher salt, to taste
(I started out with 1 teaspoon,
 then taste tested after it had cooked for a while,
and added in 2 more teaspoons.
1 TB peppercorns

 Heat the oil and unsalted butter
and add in the mushrooms.
 I had some dried mushrooms -
paddy straw and black fungus-
which I added in.
Sauté, stirring and squishing, about 5 minutes.

 I didn't bother to peel the carrot, onion, or garlic.
Just chop it up and add to the pan.
More flavor that way.

 Add two quarts cold water.
Bring to boil.
Reduce to simmer
and cook until reduced by half.

 Take a picture of Junior.

When the liquid has reduced by half ...

... pour the whole lot through a cheesecloth-lined chinois.

Let drain.

Then start squishing with the wood thingie
that came with the chinois..
You need to squish a lot
 to get all the flavor out of the vegetables.

Grab up all the vegetables in the cheesecloth
and squeeze all the flavors and liquid into the pan.

I made this the first day.
Ended up with 1 quart of mushroom broth.

Day 2.
I made the soup.
I have 4 ounces of "exotic mushroom blend."
And a tablespoon of chopped red onion.

I heated my pan and added 1 TB each
of unsalted butter and Olio Carli extra virgin olive oil.
Add in the mushrooms.

Sauté over medium high for about 2-3 minutes.
You want the mushrooms to brown a little.

Do NOT add salt.
Salt draws moisture out of the mushrooms,
causing them to steam, not brown.
Never salt mushrooms until they're already cooked.

Add in the chopped red onion
and a teaspoon or so of fresh thyme leaves.
Cook for a minute over medium low.

I added an extra tablespoon of butter
and a tablespoon of flour to the pan.
Cook the flour for a minute or two
to get the raw out.

Slowly add in a cup of mushroom broth,
stirring until thickened.

Add in 1/2 cup cream.

Bare simmer for 30 minutes.
Taste test and add Kosher salt
(about a teaspoon)
and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

I pulled out some of the whole mushrooms to save for for toppings
and the rest of the soup, I pulsed in my Magic Bullet,
until nicely chunky.
Reheat through.

Cautionary note:  Never over-fill a blender with hot liquid.

While that was heating and imparting flavors,
 I assembled my accoutrements.
Fresh thyme.
Lemon zest.
Mere drops of black truffle oil.
Ladle soup into attractive bowls
and add the reserved mushrooms,
thyme, lemon zest, and truffle oil.

 Goodness, gracious.
This is some kinda good!

As good as the restaurant's soup was,
Mr. Hawthorne said he liked this better than theirs.
 Is he getting smarter?

Mine was different from theirs.
I gave it some fresh thyme greenery
and yellowey lemon zest on top.

I love thyme and lemon together.
They're made for each other.
I love the earthiness of mushrooms.
It's like walking through a forest
after a rain and the sun is just slanting and raying through the trees
and the steam is swirling off the ground.
It's umami.

Umami in the forest.
Umami in my bowl.
Bowl from a set I bought in Rawlins,WY.

Thank you, Saltbox Café,
for inspiring me.
I love it when a restaurant can do that!


Marilyn said...

That sounds divine. I have been thinking about making Ina Garten's mushroom soup for some time now. That soup was so good that Mel Brookes tipped Ina a Benjamin Franklin.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

It was divine. Although I didn't receive a Bennie.

Rocquie said...

Hi Rosie. . .I recently made a Cream of Mushroom Soup which was very good. But mine was more "homey" and not nearly as gourmet and sublime as yours. Your soup sounds marvelous!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Rocquie, I have mushroom stock/broth in the freezer now. I can make the mushroom soup at a whim! Loved the thyme and lemon zest with this. Really perked it up. Thank you for reading and commenting! -Rosie-