On the menu: Creamy Mushroom Soup
I’m feeling a wee bit peevey today.
It’s really annoying when I find a great photo on Pinterest, only to have to embark on a source hunt because the link ends up at some Tumblr site or the main page of the true source site, not the post containing the image. Google Image Search has become my new best friend. There should be Laws of Pinterest. Law #1: Properly source your image!!
I have less than a month to write a rough draft of my dissertation proposal. So far, the only written documents I have concerning my research are scribbled on scratch paper or are hastily typed outlines for meetings with my advisors. I created a concept map last fall as I dove headfirst into a scientific literature search that has since become infamous among my peers, but it’s nowhere near specific enough to use for my proposal writing. We have a two-week spring break coming up. Guess what I’ll be doing?
The cat is sick again. We started her on another round of medicine to provide some temporary relief. She’s also starting to take probiotics with her food every day. I hate seeing her in pain. It breaks my heart.
But! There are plenty of happy things that circumvent these peeves. My brother, an avian rehabilitation technician, observed a bald eagle’s eye getting removed and is working to rehabilitate said eagle. The eagle flew nice and straight this week! My middle brother has been accepted to his top two colleges and has to make the tough decision of which one to attend. He’s got a lot of thinking to do, but I know he’ll choose the right school for him.
My father finally shipped my stand mixer from Michigan to Maine! I had Christmas all over again this week. We’re breaking it in this weekend with these. And the weekend kicked off with a story on wild bees on NPR this morning–a much needed break from hearing about all the sequester stress.
This soup, I’m not going to lie, starts off a wee bit peevey. You have to dice 2 pounds of mushrooms into 1/2 inch cubes. Really?! Yes, really. Before you start chopping, you take the stems from all those mushroom and get them simmering in chicken stock. Over the hour-long simmer, you have just enough time to get those mushrooms diced. Perhaps that’s my lack of knife skills, or perhaps it just takes a really long time to dice 2 pounds of mushrooms into 1/2 inch cubes.
Here’s where the happiness comes in. After the hour-long simmer, the chicken stock transforms into a luxurious mushroom broth that tastes like hours of work. By that time, you’ve started sautéing your little mushroom cubes, and as they’re tossed with thyme, shallots, and brandy, your kitchen starts to smell like France. I’ve never been to France, but I think it might smell like that. Sidebar: Kevin and I decided on our favorite herbs this week. His is basil. Mine is thyme. I LOVE ME some thyme! Anyway, when the mushrooms are sautéed, they’re added to the mushroom broth, and finally you add heavy cream to finish the soup and give it some body.
And you forget the pain of dicing 2 pounds of mushrooms when, as you take spoonful after spoonful of soup, you find pieces of mushroom in EVERY bite! The broth is fantastic enough on it’s own, sure, but you don’t have to consume innumerable spoonfuls of just broth before hitting the mushroomy goodness. The mushroomy goodness hits you from bite one until bite done. It’s pure genius.
Creamy Mushroom Soup
from MrsWheelbarrow at Food52
1 pound mixed mushrooms, cleaned, stems separated from caps
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems separated from caps
1/2 cup minced shallot
6 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cognac
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped chives
Roughly chop the mushroom stems and simmer them over medium-low heat, covered, in the chicken broth for about an hour. Dice the mushroom caps into 1/2″ cubes. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the shallots until transparent. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the herbs, salt and pepper, and the diced mushrooms, and cook gently until the mushroom liquid is released and reabsorbed. Shake the pan so they don’t stick. Remove the thyme and rosemary. Turn up the heat and add the cognac. Cook the mushroom cap/shallot mixture down until well reduced and starting to turn a little golden on the edges. Strain the mushroom stems from the chicken broth. Add the mushroom cap and shallot mixture to the strained broth and heat gently. Stir in the cream and serve, sprinkled with chives.