That, or make mass quantities of soup to warm yourself up from the inside out.
Being the over achiever that I am, I did both, in reverse order.
This September, Jon and I spent a weekend in Carmel. Just in case you weren't aware, Carmel is a sneak peak at heaven on earth. Well, unbeknownst to you most likely, heaven on earth happens to house the most incredible mushroom soup ever to exist. In the past four months, I've probably mentioned this soup to no less than twenty people. No, no one discusses soup that often. Unless you have a borderline unhealthy longing for a particular variety and you happen to work it into conversations regularly.
This was not a digression. I have a point. And my point is that a perfect storm came to be Monday evening when the ick weather was at its ickiest and I came across the below picture of what once was the best soup of all time.
Clearly there was a challenge of massive food/bad weather quantities presented to me, and yes, I took that challenge and spent the better portion of 4 hours recreating the soup to the best of my ability.
The good thing is, you, most likely, have not been blessed enough to try the manna from Carmel, so you'll have no idea.
While this is definitely a guilt free soup, it doesn't taste that way. It's very rich and even with the chicken broth, tasted as though it had beef in it. This is due to the meatiness of the mushrooms. It's really not a claim vegetarians make to feel included. Mushrooms add heft and the best kind.
I've never had mushroom soup in a tiny French village, but I'm absolutely certain that if I had, I would tell you this is what it tasted like.
Servings: This makes a lot of soup, 15 cups. All the ingredients are very half-able, so feel free to slice the recipe in half for those who don't need mass amounts of mushroom soup taking up their limited freezer space.
4 cups white onions diced
8 minced garlic cloves
4 lbs mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp salt
14 cups stock, I used chicken but for a less rich dish, vegetable is great and for a richer than the Queen of Sheba flavor, use beef stock
4 fresh basil leaves in ribbons
1 tbsp Tabasco (if you like spicy, add another tbsp)
1 tbsp Worcester
3 bay leaves
2 tsp black pepper
1.5 cups uncooked quinoa
1 cup uncooked farro
Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Typically, you will need 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa, bring it to a boil, simmer covered for 20 minutes or until fluffy
Heat large soup pan with olive oil at medium heat
Add onions and garlic cloves
Sautee for approximately 5 minutes or until translucent
Add in the chopped mushrooms and cook on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. You'll notice the mushrooms will shrink down considerably and an inch or so of water will fill the pan
Add in stock, salt, basil, Tabasco, Worcester, bay leaves, quinoa and black pepper and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat
Take out bay leaves
Blend with either your immersion blender for 5-7 minutes or put in batches in your standing blender until you've blended approximately 1/2 of the broth/mushroom concoction
Add in 1 cup uncooked farro and bring up heat to medium-high
A mild boil should ensue shortly thereafter - boil for 15 minutes or until farro is slightly al dente
Serve immediately or cool and store
Brief Demonstration of How to Chiffonade so You Look Uber Fancy Schmancy
|Step 1: take a pile of pretty greens and stack them flatly on top of each other|
|Step 2: roll said pretty greens like you see the cigar-men rolling up their cubans in Mexico. Don't crush them as they're awfully sensitive and bruise easily...like Natasha Bedingfield|
|Step 3: say your goodbyes and draw and quarter the buggers|
|Step 4: admire your pretty little ribbons|
|Gah-lic and onions - ne'er the two shall part|
|It's shocking how bloated they are. Wouldn't it be a different kind of wonderful if we could be put in a warm bath of olive oil and garlic and come out significantly less bloated in minutes?|
|I used 15 cups broth initially but felt it was too brothy. If you want a brothier soup as opposed to a creamier one, add in the additional cup.|
|See how nice our little ribbons and spices make the mushrooms look?|
|Quick Tip - if it's 9PM and you and your mother want to go to sleep already but the soup isn't cool enough to store, put it in an ice bath in your sink for 20 minutes and it will be good to go.|
Don't forget to vote in our poll this week. Right up there to the right.
Happy National Soup Month to you and yours.