Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Creamy Portobello Soup

Lately, I've had this 'thing' for portobello mushrooms.  I've never been much of a mushroom-lover, but there's just something about portobellos that makes me salivate.  And we love soup.  So it was time to start a search for a great mushroom - specifically, portobello - soup.  I found several recipes entitled "Mushroom Bisque" but...that wasn't quite it.  Seriously, we don't prefer bisque, we want some tasty chunks of whatever in our soup.

So tonight, I created.  And what amazing fun that is - to just pull together the stuff I hoped would be good; almost as good as being on FoodTV's Chopped (you KNOW I love Chopped!)...or hey, maybe even Iron Chef.  But I know the 'secret ingredient.'  The delicious portobello mushroom!

Creamy Portobello Soup

One thing that makes a good start for a rich soup is butter.  So - into my enameled iron pot (love, love!) went one stick of butter.  I melted the butter and added 1 lb. of sliced portobellos.  The first 8 oz. went into the pot in their from-the-store sliced form; the rest were chopped a little smaller.  Then I added 1 potato, also chopped moderately small, with the skin left on.  Let all that cook for awhile, until the potatoes are tender...the smell will start to work on you and you will want to hurry, but don't.

After about 20 minutes, add 2 Tablespoons of chicken broth base and 2 cups of water (or 2 cups of chicken broth) whisked with 1 Tablespoon flour, and season with 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1 teaspoon rosemary.  My two favorite spices!  Add salt - don't oversalt it, you can check it later, and pepper to your liking.  We like pepper, so I gave it a liberal dose with the grinder.  Secret hint:  add a tiny bit of cayenne, too.  TINY.  It adds just a little 'kick' to almost anything.  Then add 1 cup of heavy cream.  Reduce to a simmer and give it a little more cooking time -  another 20 minutes will be fine.  At this point it's all about 'more or less' because that's the beauty of making soup.  Just enjoy the savory smell for awhile.   I also added 1/4 cup sherry for a very rich and pleasant completion; that's optional.

Now.  The very pleasant topper:  a thin slice of toasted italian bread, broiled with butter and parmesan til barely brown.  (Make several, you'll probably want another.)

T said it was "incredible."  I agreed!  Then he said, you ought to blog this...

This recipe made approximately 4 to 6 servings.  And - if you don't plan to eat it all at once, I'm sure it would freeze nicely.

Enjoy, and I look forward to seeing you time something strikes us as a keeper!