October 11, 2016
Comfort Food, Dinner, Lunch,
Main Dish, Soups/Stews, Beans, Vegetables, Mushrooms, North American, Make-Ahead, Entertaining, Fall/Autumn, Game/Sports Day, Sunday Dinner, Winter, Stove Top, No Eggs, Non-Dairy, Vegetarian, Wine, Frozen Vegetables, White Beans more
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"This was a Taste of Home Recipe; or, at least it was in their magazine. Definitely worth passing along. I did a couple of my changes; but, basically, it is the same recipe. A nice alternative to a heavy meat based soup; yet, it is hearty, rich, and full of flavor. To me, this is a perfect Fall or Winter soup. I admit; there is a bit of chopping and prep work; and, it definitely isn't a weeknight dinner. But, it makes a great weekend soup. And, it makes a great big pot ... perfect for lunches during the week. Great to serve in a bread bowl if you want; or, a good potato roll or bread to use to dip in the soup. And, don't forget a salad on the side."
MUSHROOM NOTE: First, I like to use mushrooms that are readily available; but, you can really use any mushrooms you want. I picked out 3 varieties that almost all grocery stores carry; however, feel free to use a mix too. Rather than the more 'delicate' mushrooms, I like to use the hearty or 'woodsy' mushrooms in this dish. Hens of woods, morels, etc. And, since this is a rich dish; I often use a mix of cremini and white (or button); and, some earthy porcini. Simply clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth or brush, lightly trim the stems; and thick slice.
*See Note on Mushrooms: Dried Porcini Mushrooms ... Add the porcini mushrooms to a bowl or measuring cup; and, add 1-1 1/4 cups boiling water. Make sure they are all covered in the water. Cover with plastic wrap, a small plate, or towel; and, let them set a good 15-20 minutes. Once they are rehydrated, remove the mushrooms to a cutting board, and rough chop. Strain the broth using a fine mesh strainer, paper towel; or even a coffee filter. The broth will be used in the soup - you only need 1 cup of the reserved broth.
Mushrooms ... In a large heavy soup pot; add 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and add half of the fresh mushrooms. Saute until lightly browned on medium high heat, stirring often (3-4 minutes). DO NOT add any salt or pepper at this point. I usually saute them in two batches, so they brown rather than steam. Once the first batch is done; transfer to a small bowl - then, repeat with the second batch. And transfer to the bowl as well.
Base ... Add a bit more oil to the pot; along with the carrots, leeks, onions, salt and pepper - and, saute for 5 minutes. The last minute, add in the garlic. NOTE: If the carrots are really thick; cut, lengthwise and cut in half moons.
Then, add the fresh mushrooms you sauteed back to the pot; along with the rehydrated mushrooms. Add the tomato paste, dried herbs and bay leaves; and, cook just a minute until everything is combined. You want to wake up that tomato paste.
Wine and Broth ... Add the wine, scraping the bottom to get any brown bits up; then, add the reserved strained mushroom broth, vegetable broth; and, half of the other mushroom broth. Stir until everything is combined. Bring to a light boil; reduce to a simmer, and cover - cook 15 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the flour to the remaining mushrooms broth; and, stir until combined - and, set to the side. This will be added later.
Beans and Onions ... Add the beans and pearl onions to the soup; and, season again with salt and pepper if needed. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Add the remaining mushroom broth you thickened with flour to your soup; and, stir until the soup begins to thicken. Now, if you like it really thick; you can add the remaining tablespoon of flour with some water in that same can and mix until combined; then, add to the soup. I find that 2 tablespoons is enough for my tastes. That is just a personal preference. Cook another 5 minutes, just to get rid of that flour taste.
Finish and Serve ... Finish with lots of parsley. Again, serve in a bread bowl; or, add a good potato roll or bread on the side. And, finish it off with a salad. It is very rich; even though it is a 'meatless' soup.
Note ... If you wanted that 'meat' flavor, without adding meat; use beef broth rather than the 1 cup of the canned or bouillon mushroom broth. Also, please note, if you like more beans; or another bean, such as pinto - add what you like. And, as mentioned, you can use ANY mix of mushrooms; always use what is in season and fresh.
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