Here we are again. Tuesday. I honestly don’t remember the last time I worked a Monday (I think it was January), but I have to admit I don’t hate it.
I got into a Facebook debate last night about snow complaining (I love you, Megan!) but I can’t back down: I’m loving this crazy winter weather. To be fair, I’m not allowed to snow-blow or shovel because of my head and rib injury, plus we have a garage, so I’m not feeling the full force of inconvenience, but all of these bonus days at home with the baby have been incredible. I also suspect some people wouldn’t trade for middle of the night feedings, insane blow out diapers, and the cold that just won’t quit we’re still passing around in circles, but it’s my life and I’ll keep it, thank you very much.
My parents were visiting for a few days last week (more on that at some point this week) and my mom arrived, as usual, with bags full of produce and groceries she didn’t want to waste — plus a ham — so one night she whipped up a fantastic wild mushroom soup, a la Ina Garten. It was gone by lunch the next day and Nik loved it so much he made me promise to make it again this weekend.
With yet another foot of snow falling between Saturday night and Sunday morning, it ended up being the perfect comfort. I picked up leeks and mushrooms and a good crusty loaf of Italian at Whole Foods Saturday morning and we were all set.
This is a really easy meal to put together; it’s mainly a little chopping and some stirring. I’d never made my own stock before, and on a points scale it might get dinged in the clean-up category for the extra pot, but all-in-all it was easy and delicious.
As a side note, mine tasted different than my mother’s version — saltier — and I spent the past day trying to think of what I did differently, especially since I had left out half a teaspoon of salt that the recipe called for. It turns out I left out the half teaspoon, but used salted butter instead of unsalted, so I can vouch: it makes a difference.
Ina Garten, Food Network
5 ounces shiitake mushrooms
5 ounces portobello mushrooms
5 ounces cremini or porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 pound, plus
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme, plus
1 teaspoon minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped leeks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk)
1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley
Clean the mushrooms with a dry paper towel (NOT water) — wipe off any dirt and earth. Separate the stems from the caps and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the caps into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
For the stock: heat olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a stock pot. Add chopped mushroom stems, onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, one teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil and then reduce, simmering uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve the liquid, which should yield about 4 1/2 cups.
In another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound (1 stick) of butter and add the chopped leeks. Cook over low heat 15-20 minutes, or until the leeks are browned. Add mushroom caps and cook about 10 minutes, until softened and browned. Add flour and cook for another minute. Add white wine and stir for another minute. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot, loosening up any cooked on bits. Add the mushroom stock, thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add half-and-half, cream, and parsley. Heat through and serve hot.
Because of personal preference and because Nik thinks my idea of bite-sized is way bigger than it should be, I ran my immersion blender through the soup before adding the cream and milk at the end. I left some bits, but mostly blended until partially smooth.
Finally, I recommend serving with big chunks of hearty bread, torn apart for dipping.
P.S. How creepy is it that I’m looking at you through my spoon in that last shot? Right?! Right.