Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Barefoot Contessa Thursday ~ Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

It's Barefoot Contessa Thursday and we made a rich and creamy mushroom soup. I was worried the soup would taste like a basic mushroom soup indistinguishable from something coming from a soup can "but", Boy, I must have been on another planet for even considering this! We made our own stock for the base of this soup. How cool is that? The flavor is incredible and the mushrooms with leeks, cream, and a good share of chopped, flat leaf parsley were fabulous. I did forget my loaf of crusty French bread. That part was a bummer. I wish I had made this soup over the weekend because there were several steps that required time for simmering. The recipe took about 2 hours, start to finish. After getting home at 6 p.m. from work, dinner was late but the soup was well worth the wait. Thank you Chelle with the blog Brown Eyed Baker for picking this recipe out for us. Great choice!

The recipe for this wonderful mushroom soup was posted on the Food Network website and I am also posting the recipe here because I want a quick reference so as to make this again very soon. What a great way to start the Fall season!

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
by Barefoot Contessa

5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
5 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms
5 ounces fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Don't wash them! Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if there are big, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, the onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not, add some water.

Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.

The stock's aroma smelled absolutely delicious! In fact, the rewarding feeling of knowing I had just made my own stock from scratch for this soup was pretty great too!

I love Riesling wines so I went with a flavor I would know.

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