Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Soup er

I love it when a plan comes together. So says Col. Hannibal Smith (U.S. Army Retired). He meant it in the context of escaping from the ever encircling snare of the single-minded and proud Col. Decker. Talk about out foxing the fox. This catch-phrase was also used to note a successful "mission" which usually involved building some crazy shit in a barn, and also applying armor plating to that "shit" as well as installing peep holes through that armor plating so that they could shoot at other shit that was trying to shoot at them. Also, shooting at shit and the people involved with that shit and being able to stop them from further wrongdoing yet not killing or even seriously injuring those people is actually pretty amazing.

That brings me to my very similar use of that same catch-phrase. Our cheese night on Sunday left me with some interesting leftover ingredients and last night on my way home I hatched a plan to use them all in one quick dish if possible. Chief among the leftovers were Portabella mushrooms. I also had stock and heavy cream. Soup!!!! Here's my recipe:

Portabella Mushrooms
Porcini Mushrooms (dried)
Heavy Cream
Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper
Hungarian Paprika
Olive Oil


Soak dried Porcini in warm water. (reserve the leftover water)

In a large pot, fry Pancetta and remove when finished and chop. Keep 1/4 fat in the pot.
reduce heat add garlic and onions and olive oil.
add chopped Portabellas, and remove Porcini from water and saute.
add salt & pepper and thyme.
When mushrooms are sauteed add chicken stock and the reserved water from the Porcini.
Add paprika, and chopped Pancetta and simmer.

Once you've had it on a nice simmer for about 10 minutes, it's time to add the cream. One note here, only use cream or maybe whole milk because dairy with a lower fat content will curdle and your soup will be yucky.
Also you need to temper the soup by adding the cream in small amounts at first. Once the cream has started to mix evenly you can add the rest.

You should then let this mixture simmer for another few minutes, and you should absolutely taste it, and season as needed, remembering of course that as it cooks down the taste will get more concentrated.

Once you have full seasoned and very hot soup you now have a few options. If you like mushroom soup on the rustic side, that is to say chunky, then by all means serve it right away. If you like it in a more refined manner then I'd use a hand blender if you have one or you can ladle it into a blender or food processor. What evs. Just blend until it's smooth in texture.

To serve I usually top with fresh parsley and if you so desire you could top with a bit of olive oil. I actually had some extra Gorgonzola sauce on hand that I'd made so I used that.

Anyway it was tasty.

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