Friday, October 2, 2009
CREAMY MUSHROOM SOUP
I can't quite decide whether I am a cheerful pessimist or a melancholy optimist.
That is how I feel when I make mushroom soup. When satisfaction does not come immediately to my eyes and must be sought by pondering, when the good of the food does not strike me as I'm cooking it or when I'm done cooking it, I think I am a melancholy optimist.
But when I taste a spoonful and it wows me, and I know I have to make it appeal to our sense of sight as well, so that judgment will be reserved, so that our immediate instinct would be to scoop a little to our lips inspite of it being such a drab and dull looking soup. Then, I think, I am a cheerful pessimist.
So perhaps I am both. Both a pessimist and an optimist when I make mushroom soup. Let's face it...it looks so dull and quite unappetizing. But tastes so good. So I'll make it and then I'll plate it in the most opposite manner. Simply because they need each other. Balance after all is key. Wouldn't you agree? ;)
The recipe.............................for 4 - 6 persons.
I did not measure the liquid amounts exactly but a creamy mushroom soup is so easy that if you find it too thin add a little more flour or if you find it too thick add a little more stock. But it should be nice and creamy.
I used a mixture of olive oil and butter because the little door to my conscience inside of my head was opening and closing, opening and closing and it finally opened up completely and I felt this rush of guilt about using too much butter with the heavy cream. Sigh.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T butter
3 cups slice shitake mushrooms or a mixture of shitake and portabello/buttons
2 shallots ,chopped
4 T plain flour
3 cups chicken broth or stock or a stock cube dissolved in water ( I used stock that I made myself)
1 1/4 cups double cream
salt and pepper
some chopped chives (western chives)
Warm the olive oil and melt the butter in a pan. When just hot enough add the shallots and mushrooms and saute until soft.
Add in the flour and stir in. It will become a thickish mixture. Add in the 3 cups of stock or broth.Stir well. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Add the cream and stir on low heat. Do not allow to boil. Add salt and pepper and some chopped chives for flavour.
The mixture will be slightly on the thin side.
Take out half the mixture with a ladle and pour into a blender and swish until the mushrooms are one with the liquid. Pour teh blended soup back into the pot and stir to recombine. You should have a nice creamier soup.
Garnish. Plate optimistically. Serve.