Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It Starts with Stock II

Mushroom Soup
So here I was with this Moroccan-Spiced stock, quite possibly the finest I have made [it likely won't come together quite like this ever again]. And mushrooms always being in season, lucky for me because I had a hankering for Mushroom Soup.

See that monogrammed 'C' on the soup spoon? A long time ago, when life was a lot simpler and I was about 8 or 9, I saved–I don't remember how many–Campbell's soup labels and sent them away for 6 spoons. They actually had them engraved with any initial you wanted and, well our last name being Crocker, I just naturally went with the 'C'.

Now I have the spoons and I don't think I have told anyone that story in a very long time.

Mushroom Soup is always different [let's be honest: every recipe is different for me, because I find it just so darned hard to follow a recipe- even/especially my own.] Anyway, today being EARTH DAY and all, I thought an earthy, brothy, rich brown soup would help celebrate the day in down-to-earth style.

Here's my LOOK and COOK* Recipe

In a large saucepan or soup  pot of some heft, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. [Don't put the oil away, you may need a drop or two later.]

Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop 3 cloves of garlic and  a piece of candied ginger. 
[The garlic is essential, the ginger is not, but ginger and garlic are part of my herb triology, thyme being the holy ghost here because I didn't happen to have any fresh or dried.]

Leave the garlic and ginger in the bowl of the food processor and add a red onion, peeled and quartered. [just because I didn't have any yellow cooking onions, or I would have used one of those and kept the red onion for a salad.]

Chop and add to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.

Chop rutabaga. Wait! Rutabaga? Trust me. No one will know and you will have boosted the nutrient quotient way up. Here I cut the rutabaga in half, then cut 4 3/4-inch slices, peeled and coarsely chopped them before chopping in the food processor. 

Add to the pan. Cook and stir constantly for 5 minutes. [Here you may have to add some more olive oil to keep the onions and the rutabaga from sticking to the pan. And here is where a heavy-bottomed pan and low heat are your 2 best friends.]

Add 1 or 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. [this is optional but I do like the nutty flavor of mushrooms sautéed in pure butter.]

Add chopped mushrooms [about 2 lb mushrooms/6 cups chopped], cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes
Add chicken stock [8 cups here- I got carried away with taking the photograph and might have only used 6 cups of this most precious nectar, ah well, so the soup was slightly thinner than I might have liked, but TheBigGuy never put his spoon down]. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or longer.
Add salt to taste.

Serves 6 or 8

**Look and Cook Recipe- a sneaky/ recipe format where I really need to re-test for exact amounts, but just don't have the time or inclination. It's hard to develop, test, style and shoot recipes solo [winge-winge]. Don't get me wrong, I can do it, it's just that the weakest link gets dropped. And for me the tedious testing link is the first to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment


All photographs and recipes are original and copyrighted to Pat Crocker. Pat invites you to use her recipes and share with family and friends. Please contact Pat Crocker for express permission for commercial, internet, or other use of her photographs and recipes.