Monday, February 23, 2009

"It Was Really Good" Mushroom Soup

Meet our mushroom soup.

Meet our cat.

I have been in a bit of a haze recently and can't really remember the details behind the night Alayna created this miracle upon miracles soup. I do remember however, that as we took  our first bites Alayna became pensive. She looked at her bowl. Took another bite. Thought. And then she announced, I think this is the best soup. 

It is a really good soup. It's hearty but not so rich it holds you down. But it is a nice meal and it's good with nice bread. 

Here you go:

Sauttee one large yellow onion (chopped) and
2 to 3 leeks  (chopped, just the white parts)
with fresh thyme (no stems)
and red (hot) pepper in olive oil
add a large handful of chopped baby carrots, keep on low heat and cover

Add the following, all chopped, the following order (keep the pot covered between dumping things in)
1 large portobella mushroom (no stem)
1 box of baby  portobella mushrooms
1 large handful of shitake mushrooms (no stems)
1 box of regular (button) mushrooms
and a half stick of butter
and a bunch of fresh spinach

When mushrooms look cooked through (20-30 minutes) add enough water to cover, this will be blended so you don't want it to be too thin. 
Add 2 packets of chicken bullion
Add more thyme, black pepper, salt and red pepper to taste and pour in about 1/2 glass to 3/4 of dry white wine
Once the soup is heated through, turn off the burner

Now the soup should look like this:

Lovely, I know. But you aren't finished yet.

Puree the soup in a blender in parts. I like to leave it pretty coarse so that it is hearty looking and can be picked up with bread.
Add heavy cream (or half and half) to taste. About a cup probably.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

More than Tomato Soup

Buttering bread.

Simmering soup.

& cool cheese.

More Than Tomato Soup

Alayna was on vacation but we were still brainstorming soup ideas for this week because making soup isn't an occasion it's a lifestyle.

As you might know we are swiftly approaching good 'ol V-Day, for this reason and many more. (One of which being a personally unfortunate incident while running along the East River involving an overeager, deranged homeless dude-- lets leave it at that.) I wanted something comforting and I wanted something red.

When we start our "Sauce Blog," you might realize that this tomato soup is closely related to a wonderful penne a la vodka sauce but for now you just know it as a wonderful, rich and tangy tomato soup. This tomato soup is creamy and has a zingy bite. It's easy (so easy I, as in Mary Lorraine, made most of it) and it's good.

If you have been reading this blog but haven't actually made one of these soups I recommend this to be your first try. It's a people pleaser. Make it with a grilled cheese sandwich with fancy cheeses and be prepared to eat until you have a stomachache. Like I do, right now.

What You Need:

2 big cans of crushed tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic chopped
red pepper (like the spice not the vegetable)
heavy cream
olive oil
a bunch of basil, chopped

What You Do:

Sautee chopped garlic in big soup bowl.
Add a generous portion of red pepper.
When sauteed dump in the two cans of crushed tomatoes and stir
Add the basil (a lot of basil)
Let simmer for about 30 minutes
Add as much heavy cream as desired, depending on your tomato soup cream preference.

I know, so easy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hello Mrs. Mushroom, Meet Mr. Potato (Soup)

Ah, It seems like only yesterday I had to call Alayna to ask her what a leek looked like when she told me to pick them up from a store.

"A bloated scallion," she said. She was right. That's like, exactly what leeks look like.

However, many months later when I was a seasoned leek hunter Alayna called, frantic, it was soup night and she had not been able to find leeks at Whole Foods. I was leaving the gym, I was red as a beet but was up for the challenge.

In the east village there is at least one bodega on every street corner. I was walking home fourteen blocks, this means I must have gone into at least fourteen bodegas. That was the night I discovered bodegas don't sell leeks.

Oh well, we did without. But as we enjoyed this soup... which let me tell you, is a winner, we discussed how leeks would have added to it. And then the discussion trickled into our Monday night stream of conscious which often include a mixture of thoughts concerning the kitten, MTV's "Bromance," and the meatiness a leek can provide for a soup.


Butter 2 leeks, chopped (use yellow onion if you have no leeks, or combine one leek, one onion for more flavor)

Large handful of baby carrots

6 cups chicken broth

dried dill weed


ground black pepper

bay leaf

2 pounds red potatoes, diced

1 pound fresh mushrooms (mix regular and baby portabella, or any other type of mushroom you like!), sliced

1 cup half-and-half 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


1.Melt some butter butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Mix in leeks and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Pour in broth. Season with dill, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Mix in potatoes, cover, and until potatoes are tender but firm (about 20 min).

2.Melt more butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir into the soup.

3.In a small bowl, mix the half-and-half and flour until smooth. Stir into the soup to thicken.