What a banner week this has been! Two books that I won arrived in the mail, Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for all Things Sweet and Wonderful by Barbara Fairchild, A Holiday Yarn by Sally Goldenbaum (a Christmas mystery in the cozy genre for knitting fans -- that would be me) and my own purchase of Dorie Greenspan's amazing tome, Around my French Table. Where to begin? I ask you. Where?
Windy, icy, raw weather kept me in, so I was limited by what we had on hand. Thanks to Dorie, I was able to make a delicious, rich, woodsy mushroom soup with relatively few, rather common ingredients. A great appetizer, hearty lunch, or dinner starter, it's great at any time of the day.
PARIS MUSHROOM SOUP
Prep 25 minutes Cook: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
This soup can be served over a small salad of raw mushrooms seasoned with salt, pepper, chopped chives and parsley. Cover and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to 2 months.
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 large onions, coarsely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1-1/2 pounds white mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
2 parsley sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1/3 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken broth or water
Creme fraiche, optional
the butter in a Dutch oven or soup pot over low heat. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and remaining tablespoon of the butter.
Raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high; cook until almost all the liquid evaporates. Pour in the wine; let boil until almost evaporated.
Add the broth and herbs; heat to a boil. Lower the heat; cover the pot almost completely. Simmer 20 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprig.
Puree the soup in small batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste for salt and white pepper. Pour the soup back into the pot; heat over low heat until hot. Serve garnished with creme fraiche.
Indulge yourself in some tasty holiday reading.