Friday, October 15, 2010

Mushroom, To Be Exact.

We had a cool morning today.  In fact, you might even say it was chilly.  While it was not yet light out, John awoke and took Mable to the great outdoor bathroom. When he returned, he placed his hands on my face, and his fingertips were icy.  This surprised me.  Lately I have been fretful about the warmer temperatures.  I worry that the leaves will change colors  without the accompanying cool weather.  After school I drive home, looking at the tips of trees changing over to bright orange and wonder if I will ever get to wear a cardigan.

That's fall in the South, a big slow-poke about showing up.  Always late, making everyone check their calendars. Yet when it arrives, it does so in a blaze of glory, making the trees sing with flair. I know I am making this announcement a little bit early, but I think we should prepare ourselves for fall with some soup. When it does finally get here, we're all going to want to mark the moment, and soup is really the only way. Besides, it is high time that here, on this blog, we had a bowl of soup.  And then dessert.  But first soup.  Mushroom, to be exact.

{photo & recipe via foodandwine}

Wild Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Toasts


  1. 6 slices bread, cut from a long country or sourdough loaf
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  4. Paprika
  5. Wild Mushroom Ragout
  6. 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  7. 1 cup frozen baby peas
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon snipped chives 


  1.  Preheat the broiler. Lightly brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Broil for 1 minute, until toasted. Flip the bread, sprinkle with the Parmesan and a pinch of paprika and broil for 1 minute longer, until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden and toasted.

    2. Meanwhile, puree 1 cup of the mushroom ragout in a blender until smooth. Transfer the puree to a medium saucepan. Add the remaining mushroom ragout, the chicken stock and peas and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Season the soup with salt and pepper and transfer to shallow bowls. Garnish with the chives and serve with the Parmesan toasts

    And maybe some of these, too:

    Mushroom and Fontina Crostini

    {photo & recipe via foodandwine}


    1. Four 1/2-inch-thick slices of peasant bread, halved diagonally
    2. 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    3. 1 1/2 pounds white mushrooms
    4. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    5. 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
    6. 1 large garlic clove, minced
    7. 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
    8. 3 tablespoons water
    9. Salt and freshly ground pepper
    10. 1/4 pound Fontina cheese, coarsely shredded (about 1 cup)
    11. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 


    1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toast for 12 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges. Turn the broiler on.
    2. Meanwhile, thinly slice the mushrooms. In a large skillet, cook the butter over high heat until lightly browned, 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the mushrooms and cook undisturbed until the mushrooms are browned on the bottom, 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 10 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme, lower the heat to moderate and cook until the shallots are tender, 5 minutes. Add the water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then cook for 3 minutes longer. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
    3. Spoon the mushroom mixture on the toasts and sprinkle the cheese on top. Broil for 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Transfer the crostini to a platter, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

1 comment:

Patty said...

I love mushroom soup, but my hubby does not. Sigh. However, we have already been eating soup this fall. I am on a soup binge. There is a recipe from Good Housekeeping for Basic Soup (you make 28 cups) and many variations. It is a diet thing, but I like having soup around. We made the fish variation--a little fish, potato, and dill-voila! excellent. Also, with sausage. So much variety with so little effort! Yay! Now I am afraid it will get too cold too fast and we won't have enough firewood ready. Last year, we ran out. Not that we had to freeze, we just ran the heat more than I would have liked.

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