Fall is here! And I'm in a soupy mood, so here they come!
My guest today is my father, who stopped by for lunch en route to an appointment uptown.
Mushroom Cream Soup (p. 65)
This is a variation on the Broccoli Cream Soup, which was such a success a few weeks ago.
It's the same deal, but with cremini mushrooms instead of broccoli.
You dice and sauté onion in butter, then add the mushrooms until they start releasing liquid. This was interesting to experience - I've never monitored this process before. They're sautéeing for roughly five minutes, as dry as can be, and then all of a sudden, there's liquid everywhere! Accordingly to Martha, that's the sign that the mushrooms' flavor has been released.
Next up is adding some flour and then deglazing with sherry. (I can't say I had any brown bits on the bottom of the pan to stir up.) Then, you add the stock, bring it to a boil.
The next step is not well-described in the book, as it goes straight from "simmering mushrooms until tender, about 15 minutes" to "strain and finish." The very important words "puree" and/or "blender" are nowhere to be found. If you're a stickler like me, you will read the recipe over and over again, looking for some evidence that you are supposed to puree. I couldn't find any implications, but my common sense told me that I definitely need to: If I strain the mushrooms out of the soup, it will be too thin and it will have a barely evident mushroom taste. She HAS to want me to puree.
I pureed, and I think it was absolutely the right way to go. The soup was delicious. Earthy, clean, hearty. I enriched with some cream, which was barely noticeable. Again, the big leap in the flavoring of this soup is the jump from pre- to post-salt. It goes from nondescript to very flavorful in the time it takes to stir in the salt and pepper. Amazing....
Until we eat again....
PS Also served: Prosciutto Bread (my third time - a sure-fire winner) and that amazing Grapefruit Sorbet. Maybe not the most balanced meal (no green vegetable!) but delicious!!