Thursday, January 5, 2012

Taste of the Earth Mushroom Soup

My lovely friend Sandra drove out from Sedona, AZ to pay me a visit after Christmas. I wanted to have something warm and comfy waiting for her when she arrived after several hours of driving. I came up with this soup inspired by the earthy appeal of the mushrooms. We enjoyed catching up over a bottle of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir, warm crusty whole grain bread and bowls of warm soup. When we were done eating she asked for the recipe. This is the best I could do from memory, so some of the measurements are approximations.

1 oz package of dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted per package instructions. Reserve liquid.
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
approximately 1 lb of baby portabellas (crimini), washed and sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
1, 48 oz carton of organic un-chicken stock or veggie stock
1 small bunch fresh sage chopped, about 3 Tablespoons
1/2 pint organic half and half (for less fat use whole milk)
salt and pepper to taste

  • In a stock pot, over medium high heat, melt butter and add garlic and onion.
  • Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes
  • Lower heat to medium and add baby portabellas, stirring to mix well with garlic and onions.
  • Cook over medium heat until mushroom begin to get tender and soft.
  • Add porcinis with soaking liquid along with stock.
  • Once liquid reaches a simmer, turn down heat to low, add sage, and cover the pot.
  • Simmer on low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add half and half and stir.
  • **Using a hand (immersion) blender, puree soup in the stock pot and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • continue cooking over low heat for another minute or two to allow flavors to meld.
  • Serve with warm crusty bread.

**If you do not have a hand blender, you may puree this soup in a regular blender in batches. Remove soup from heat. Temper the blender by only adding about a ladle full into the blender, cover and puree. While pureeing, slowly add more soup a ladle at a time until about halfway full. Puree on low speed. This should prevent the hot soup from exploding all over your kitchen.

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