Chelle of Brown Eyed Baker chose Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup for this week's Barefoot Bloggers recipe. I was excited about this recipe, because I like mushrooms and I like homemade soup. It didn't disappoint. It was kind of time consuming, and there are a few things I would do differently next time . . . but overall, it is a very good recipe.
My friends Amy and Amanda came over to watch the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy (the show, unlike the soup, was kind of disappointing). They both liked this soup . . . and although they are both very polite, I think they would also be honest with me if they didn't like something I made. Amy and Amanda even helped me do dishes after Grey's was over, which I really appreciated (especially since I needed to start a batch of cookies for Friday night football - post coming soon!).
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten, via foodnetwork.com
5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
5 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms
5 ounces fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms (I used "baby bella," as I couldn't find cremini or porcini)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves, divided (no fresh thyme available here; I used dried)
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 cup half-and-half (I used fat free half-and-half)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. (The recipe says "Don't wash them!" but I didn't have time to wipe each one, so I washed them!) Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if there 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. (Oops, skipped the straining step) You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not, add some water.
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, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.
After a few tastes, we decided some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano might be a nice addition - and it was! Next time I make this, I would like to:
1. Use chicken stock in place of [at least part of] the water
2. Puree some of the soup to achieve a thicker texture