Monday, April 04, 2011

three mushroom soup without tarragon

I found this recipe in the Vancouver Sun a few weeks ago. This morning I was at Granville Island. The fruits and veggies were so beautiful, I was reminded of my intention to make the soup. I bought 3 kinds of mushrooms and brought them home.

Washing mushrooms is an interesting chore. I don't have a fancy mushroom-cleaning instrument, so I usually use a paper towel, which I rinse off every few wipes. I have read that it's not good to wash mushrooms with running water. I think that it wouldn't hurt the mushrooms, but it also wouldn't clean them very well. They do require some amount of rubbing.

The ingredient list for this recipe is simple once you have the mushrooms. Don't scrimp on the shitakes. They are expensive compared to the other types, but they are so good. They have some kind of a "snap" to them when you bite into a piece of one, and their flavour is really yummy. I have tarragon in my house, but it's not my favourite, so I substituted a splash of cognac for the tarragon. They are not equivalent, but the cognac-flavoured soup was awesome. I also subbed low fat plain yogurt for cream. I think it gave the soup a bit more zip, and a lighter consistency than with cream.

three mushroom soup WITHOUT tarragon (unless you want tarragon)
Vancouver Sun recipe starting point, embellished in my kitchen

olive oil for sauteing
about 2 cups of white mushrooms, thinly sliced
about 2 cups of brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
8-10 fresh shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 tetra pak (litre) of veggie, chicken or beef broth - whatever's on hand
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) dried tarragon - optional
1/3 cup cognac - also optional
1/2 cup light cream or low fat plain yogurt (heavens, don't use blueberry or some such)
salt and white (or black) pepper to taste
thinly sliced green onion or chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Prepare the mushrooms and cook one kind at a time until tender, about 5 minutes each, then set aside and cook the next kind. Cook the shallots along with one batch of mushrooms. Put all of the cooked mushrooms back into the pan. Mix in the flour and cook 2 minutes more. If the pan is big enough, leave them there. If not, transfer to a bigger pot (need not be nonstick) and put that one on the hot burner. While stirring, slowly mix in stock. Stir in the tarragon or the cognac, or perhaps both. Bring to a simmer and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the cream or yogurt (but not both); season with salt and pepper. Heat the cream through a minute or so, and the soup is ready. If desired, serve portions of the soup garnished with sliced green onion or chopped parsley.

Makes 4 servings

shitake spellchecks in blogger to Whitaker or shirker (or a swear word).

I will be eating lots of mushroom soup in the next day or so because I am the only one in my house who likes mushrooms. Even our dog refused to eat them, and I don't dare ask the cat.

question: do you like mushrooms?

mompoet - never scrimping on shitakes, Whitakers or shirkers, and trying to avoid swear words, particularly while cooking

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