So I’m obsessively pouring through the blog sites of all the finalists for the Saveur Best Food Awards http://www.saveur.com/content/best-food-blog-awards-vote. I do this in part as a way of licking my wounds for not being selected (only 30,000 entries), the way you might continuously scroll through an ex-boyfriend’s facebook page, searching for reasons why you were rejected! But mostly, because the finalists are so incredibly talented I am in awe of the great pieces they are writing, beautiful photos they are taking, and amazing recipes they are creating.
This posting is an homage to a lovely family food blog http://www.inpraiseofleftovers.com/. I was inspired to dig through my own fridge and come up with some leftovers. I found 2 boxes of mushrooms, slightly past their due date and a single sprig of thyme, both perfect for this great mushroom soup.
I have also been thinking about my food blog “niche”. I had a great lunch a few weeks back with Jackie from http://jackieourman.com/ who suggested that I post about the things I do everyday, like making my family dinner or teaching cooking to kids. She’s right. It’s both time saving and practical to post about my everyday kitchen experiences. Also fun.
Since I started this blog my kids have really been enjoying cooking with me in the kitchen (last night they trimmed broccoli). Here are some ideas to get your kids into the kitchen (they are great little helpers). The more they participate in making the meal the more likely they are to eat it! When making this soup at home, kids can use a butter knife to cut the mushrooms into slices and they can measure out the beef broth. With the help of a grown-up, they can add the butter and oil to the pot, stir, and throw the switch on the blender (very important to let your soup cool before blending). When serving the soup, kids might really enjoy some crusty bread for dipping. For the grown-ups I like to sauté some shiitake mushrooms for garnish and drizzle a bit of truffle oil right on top (this will be dinner party fancy but is really so easy and affordable. Trader Joe’s makes a well-priced truffle oil that I use at home). But of course, you grown-ups can have the crusty bread too!
1-tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
20-24 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups beef broth (you can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian option)
2-tablespoons sherry (not vinegar)
Pat of butter
1-teaspoon olive oil
4 oz. box of shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
4 teaspoons truffle oil
Heat oil and butter in a medium sized soup pot. Saute onions and shallots about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes. Season with some salt and add the thyme and broth. Do not add too much liquid. You are going to puree this and you always need less liquid than you think. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook about 5-8 minutes. Add the sherry, cook another minute or two and remove from heat. Remove the thyme from the pot and allow the soup to cool a bit before pureeing. I love to use my Vitamix (blender) because soups come out velvety smooth. Taste, and season with additional salt if needed.
While the soup is cooling, use a non-stick frying pan to heat the butter an oil. Then add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté on medium high heat until nice and golden brown. Give a good squeeze of lemon.
To serve the soup, add to bowls and top with a small scoop of shiitake mushrooms and a teaspoon of truffle oil. Don’t forget the crusty bread.