beige in a bowl.
It isn't very summery is it? Smooth beige soup in a bowl.
Though this soup has deep, earthy flavors, and beckons your deliberation of forest undergrowth and fertile mounds of earth, it may not pass as summer fare... you can almost taste the forest floor when a spoon of this mushroom soup settles in your mouth. But to be fair, I did just receive cremini mushrooms in my farm box, appropriately tucked into a beige paper bag. I think the best way to give this soup some summer love is to be creative with the toppings. Suffice it to say, I was spooning beige forest floor into my mouth long before I got to thinking about toppings. Next time, perhaps?
I like making soup. I don' t make enough soup, nor do I have enough favorite soup recipes. The only way to add to my list of favorites, is to start making more soup. (Much like a wine connoisseur once told me, you can only read so much about wine notes and profiles and terroir---pretty soon you just need to start drinking wine.). If I want to become a better soup-maker---become more comfortable in my soup-making frame of mind, from finding favorites to being creative---then I simply need to make more soup.
There is a reason it is good for the soul; soup was at the very beginning of bringing restaurants into being. Soups were considered healing broths, and believed to have medicinal properties. Perhaps an earth-laden soup such as this one would qualify:
Mushroom Soup 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version) 3 T butter 3-4 cloves garlic, minced 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped 1 leek 1 shallot (or 1/3 red onion) 4 T flour parsley thyme 1 bay leaf 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 T cream sherry S&P
Heat butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is released (about 5-6 minutes). Add leek and shallot and cook another 4-5 minutes, lowering heat to medium. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Pour in broth, whisk and bring to boil. Add your bouquet garni* (tie together the parsley, bay and thyme), lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Puree. Return to medium heat, add cream and sherry, S&P to heat---to taste. Serve.
*Fun fact from my lessons at cooking school: Bouquet Garni, pronounced [boo-KAY gahr-NEE] is a bunch of herbs (the classic trio being parsley, thyme and bay leaf) are tied together and used to flavor soups, stews and broths. Tying the herbs allows for their easy removal before the dish is served.
(Great definitions from the culinary world can be found in this very approachable and useful book: THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION).