Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mushroom Soup, Comin' Down The Christmas Homestretch

Car, store, argument, line, pay, home.

Car, store, argument, line, pay, home.

Far and away the worst part of Christmas is finding that "perfect gift". For the "people in your life" you have to show some creativity. Presents from a list are great, but to really impress, you have to come up with something they haven't thought about. Something that shows you know them better than they know themselves.

Welcome to our store, enjoy your shopping experience here at Stress & Aggravation.

Life has gotten simpler now that the CrabCakes only want cash or gift cards. As for SSSal and I, we muddle through. We sort of tell each other what we want and then pick one thing and ignore the rest. I still bop downtown and stroll the shops, but it's just so much more relaxing knowing that you don't have to actually buy anything.

I usually pick a cold day for my foray into retail battle, mostly so I can look forward to getting home and cooking something easy and warming. Today it's another soup. I know we had one a week ago, but it's that time of year. Here's a simplified Mushroom Soup, not one of those overly creamed types, just something with good flavor and warmth to take the edge off mall mayhem. Enjoy...

Mushroom Soup
by Crabby with help from Giada, Ina and Julia

1 pound white mushrooms
1/2 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
Juice of 1 lemon
2 TBSP unsalted butter
3 TBSP shallots, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Zest of 1 lemon
1 TBSP chopped parsley, for garnish

Clean all the mushrooms, trimming any tough stems. Roughly chop the 'shrooms, sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside, (alternatively, you could put the mushrooms into a food processor and lightly pulse until you get the desired sized chunks).

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and lightly saute the minced shallots. Add the mushrooms and thyme. Saute over medium high heat until all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, approximately 10 minutes.

Add the salt, pepper, chicken stock and cream and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste. Serve in warm bowls with a sprinkle of parsley and lemon rind.

Tada!! Another fairly quick recipe. While this soup does contain cream, it has a fairly thin texture. If you're looking for a thicker soup you have two choices: 1) take a little cold water, say 1 tablespoon, and mix it with a teaspoon of cornstarch. Add the slurry to the soup during the last 10 minutes of simmering, or 2) drop the amount of chicken stock by a cup and increase the amount of cream to compensate; your cardiac care team will love you.

OK crablings, Christmas is two days away. Relax, cook a little and enjoy the time with family and friends. The best gift I can give you is to remind you that you can do it, you can cook.

Merry Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Looks great! A splash of sherry and/or soy sauce is also a great addition to add a bit of oomph to a cream soup.

Anonymous said...

The temperature's been below zero for as long as I can remember, and this looks stomach- and soul-warming. I just checked the refrigerator -- have all the ingredients -- will make tonight. Thanks Crabby. And thanks for all the enjoyment I get from reading your blog. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyful Whatever to you and yours ...

Dolores said...

I made this yesterday afternoon with two goals: using up Christmas leftovers and providing culinary warmth and comfort for my boyfriend as he battles this season's cold.

Success on both fronts. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I made this soup three days ago and have been eating it ever since. It gets better with each serving! I didn't have thyme, so ommited it & I used skim milk and added bit of sherry with each serving. Love, love, love it and will make it again and again. Kudos to the Crabby Cook.

Unknown said...

I came across this recipe and my mouth started watering, that's with a FULL stomach! I have heard of crimini (?) mushrooms, have eaten them in restaurants, but never met one at the store. Would only regular generic mushrooms work, no mixing of mushroom types?

www.crabbycook.com said...

Hi Lauren,

Crimini mushrooms are sometimes sold as baby portabellos or "baby bellas". You can go for generic shrooms or you can try reconstituting some dried mushrooms. Besides taste, the mix of 'shrooms gives you some different textures when you eat the soup.

Try the recipe with what you have available and then get back to me and tell me how it went.

Thanks for stopping by.