Creamy Mushroom Soup and Heirloom Tomato Salad

February 13, 2010 § 2 Comments

With the recent cold weather, we were in the mood for some comfort food. A nice hot bowl of soup can warm up a soul on a cold and dreary day. Since I had an assortment of mushrooms on hand (since I’ve been on a mushroom  craze lately), I decided to make a creamy mushroom soup. We also had some heirloom tomatoes picked up at the Poway Farmer’s Market that were just perfect as a salad.

I used Emeril Lagasse’s recipe as a guide for the mushroom soup. I didn’t measure the amount of mushrooms and just winged it. There’s no such thing as too much mushrooms in my book. I listed the types of mushrooms I used below but use whatever mushrooms you like.

Special Tool Needed:
One of the following – hand-held immersion blender, blender, or food processor to purée the soup

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced
6 ounces oyster mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced
6 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced
6 ounces Portobello mushrooms, gills scraped, wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup white wine (I used a good Chardonnay)
6 cups mushroom (or chicken) stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions:
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and cayenne, cook and stir until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper, cook and stir until the mushrooms give off liquid and start to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and purée with a hand-held immersion blender. If using a food processor or blender, do it in batches. If using a blender, be very careful to only fill it halfway up since the soup is hot and you don’t want it exploding all over the place. Return puréed soup back into the pot.

Add the cream, return to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve it with some warm crusty bread — delicious! I added a little bit of chopped Chinese chives on top to give it a little color.

A shot of the steamy goodness!

We loved the flavor and how filling this was. The Mister wasn’t convinced this would be adequate as a main dish for dinner. It was. Of course, let’s not forget that we also had a tomato salad.

I made a vinaigrette for the tomato salad. Also added some variety of cherry tomatoes from Henry’s. Delicious! I can eat this all day long.

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp finely diced shallots
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (can use Champaigne vinegar)
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Directions:
In a bowl, combine garlic, shallot, vinegars, salt and pepper. Whisk together while drizzling in the EVOO. Mix in basil and mint. Spoon over tomatoes and sliced sweet onions.

I loved the basil and mint, gave the tomatoes a nice flavor without overpower them. I wasn’t so sure how all three vinegars would work together but we really enjoyed the combination, brought out the sweetness of the tomatoes and onions. Mmm-mmm-mmm!

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