IT’S ALL ABOUT COMFORT WITH HALF THE GUILT: CREAMY WILD MUSHROOM SOUP

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This past weekend, winter finally arrived in Florida, and I was excited about it. It’s very rare that we get a cold snap where I have to actually turn on my heater, wear layers of clothing, and not sweat to death while I have the oven on in the kitchen. Although it lasted a short time only, I’ll take any cold day we can get. It was the kind of cold and grey weather that makes you want to stay home in your pajamas, snuggle with the dog, binge watch something on Netflix (I watched the entire season of The OA in one weekend), and eat your favorite comfort food.

Usually, when a rare opportunity comes to do absolutely nothing, I start to feel bad and unproductive and the guilt eats away at me, and next thing I know, the entire house needs cleaned and organized right then and there, and by the time I’m done, my entire weekend is gone.  This year, I decided that I could use more lazy days, and I shouldn’t feel bad about it. I know, I know, I said no resolutions, but I also said I need to be better and I need to treat myself better, and slowing down is something we all need from time to time. It’s good for the soul. Sometimes, doing absolutely nothing is exactly the comfort we need. Well, that and a big bowl of this creamy wild mushroom soup.

I’m a huge fan of mushrooms. They are so versatile, and on the days that I want to take a break from all kinds of meat, especially after the holidays, mushrooms give me that meat-like flavor that I miss, but without the guilt. God knows there are enough things in life that gives me plenty of guilt.  To me, this soup is like a big hug in a bowl, which is actually appropriate because I adapted this recipe from my BFF’s wild mushroom soup recipe, so it’s like I get a hug from her whenever I make it.  So give yourself a hug and make this soup!

 

photos by Maria Kennedy

*Note: You can use any mushrooms you prefer for this soup. To make a thick soup, I added potatoes and the purple potatoes give it that darker look. You can also substitute wine with Cognac if you have that on hand, it gives it a very nice flavor. The wine and the lemon juice is a great compliment to the earthiness of the mushrooms. You can garnish with basil or pesto

NEED: (click here for full Grocery List)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
1 cup potatoes, chopped ( I used a mixed bags of baby red, purple and yellow potatoes)
1 pound fresh button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 pound baby portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 pound oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 cups beef broth
1 cup water
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup red wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
**optional: fresh basil or sage, chiffonade

DO:

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté until tender. Add the potatoes and cook until tender.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter in the pot and then add the mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes then add the beef broth and water. Let it boil then reduce the heat to medium heat and let it simmer for about minutes 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. With an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. If you are using a regular blender, you can work in batches and puree the soup until it is smooth then put it back in the pot.
  4. Turn the heat back on to medium. Add the wine and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and then add the rest of the butter. Mix and let the butter melt. Add the cream, lemon juice and nutmeg. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with basil/sage and/or pesto. Enjoy!

GROCERY LIST:

olive oil
2 large shallots
1 small mixed bag of baby red, purple and/or yellow potatoes
1 pound fresh button mushrooms
1 pound baby portabella mushrooms
1 pound oyster mushrooms
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
beef broth
heavy cream
red wine or Cognac
unsalted butter
1 lemon
nutmeg