Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Mushroom Soup

I'm not crazy about the wintertime. I don't mind snow so much but I *really* hate the cold.

The only two redeeming things about wintertime are rich hot soups and all kinds of comfort food. Last year I was off my soup game. I'm not sure why really. I was distracted sure. Between farm work and the ice I just hadn't fixed soup like I'd wanted to.

This year I was determined not to have that happen again and have made soup frequently. Lentil and cabbage soup are probably my favorites. Tortellini soup is right up there and of course there's always chicken soup. And here in New England there are all kinds of chowders.

And then there's this.

Wild Rice and Mushroom soup

I made this a week or so ago and I swear it's just about the best soup ever. I'd made a vegetarian Bolognese with mushroom duxelles and I had some leftover mushrooms. Here, loosely adapted from a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman appearing in the NY Times:

Ingredients (serves 2):
  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Half a medium onion, chopped
  • One carrot, sliced
  • One celery rib, sliced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup Minnesota wild rice
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth (no salt added, I used homemade)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 t thyme, 1/2 t parsley, 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Cider vinegar, to taste, a t or two
It looks like a long list of ingredients but this is easy. I don't do anything that's hard.

  • Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 1/3 cup boiling water from a kettle for 30 minutes or so. Strain and reserve the liquid for later. Some people run the liquid through some cheesecloth or a coffee filter. I don't bother.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté until they soften, maybe 5 minutes.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms to the saucepan. With a pinch of salt. Cook them over high heat until they start to soften, maybe 3 minutes or so. Reduce the heat and add the garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, after a minute or two, add the thyme and the parsley. Stir to combine.
  • Add the wine and reduce to at least half over high heat. Add the reserved porcini mushroom water. Add the chicken stock, water, and bay leaf, bring to a boil.
  • Add the re-hydrated porcini mushrooms, wild rice, bring back to a boil reduce to a simmer. Simmer for an hour, covered.
  • Add the peas.
Season the soup to your liking. I splash in the cider vinegar at serving time. Best soup I've had in a very long time!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Boring winter!

This has been a *very* boring winter.

I fell off my horse in December just before Christmas and broke a rib. Oh that hurt like hell! I'm getting a little too old for that and I don't heal as fast as I used to. I've been way off my game. I think I'm just going to have to start using a saddle...as much as that disappoints me.

Of *course* it was my fault. We'd had a good ride and we were cooling off just shuffling around and...*boom* she's off and running for her life. Leaving me in a heap. I got caught off guard and yes I know better. Ain't that always the case. I used to be pretty good at falling off a horse but now? Not so much.

We've had a couple of *really* cold days but not hardly any snow. Sloppy ice storm a week or so ago. As much as I hate the wintertime a blizzard would be exciting right about now. At least...this time of year...it has a certain charm that's hard to describe.

Speaking of which. I pack in Chef Boyardee ravioli and Beefaroni for my "storm" food. In case we lose power for any length of time. At least I'll have a lantern, a book and my Chef Boyardee for the duration. But. It came to my attention some time ago that Chef Boyardee ravioli and Beefaroni use HFCS! And no. I do *not* knowingly eat HFCS.

But...thanks to FoodTalkCentral this also came to my attention! Throwback recipe!

Yes, it uses sugar and no, it's not like I eat a lot of this stuff. I don't think added sugar is good for you either. But hey, with this stuff in the pantry I might just look forward to a power failure!

A childhood favorite! And still a guilty pleasure.
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