Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Soup for a Dreary Weekend

I have been very busy this past week, hence my very light blogging. Yesterday was the butterfly monitoring workshop. More about that in another post. The whole weekend has been dreary. It's been very dark and gray with lots of rain. We're having a thunderstorm right now. At least it sn't snowing. It's perfect soup weather. Let's make cream of mushroom and roasted red peper soup.

I've found that it's much easier to get the skin off of roasted red peppers if you char them until the skins are really, really black. This doesn't harm the flesh underneath, and gives it a nce flavor. Once the skins are blackened, I put the peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them sit for 10 minutes. Then I take the skins off under cold running water.

Next I sautée a coarsly chopped onion and some diced garlic in olive oil. The soup gets a better flavor and color if I do the onions first, and let them get nice and browned.When the onions are almost done, I add the garlic and continue just until it's nice and fragrant. Then I quench it with some dry white wine. I bring the wine to a gentle boil, stirring to bring up the browned bits off of the bottom of the pot. I add chicken stock. This time around I used turkey stock that was still in the freezer after Thanksgiving. A very tasty vegetarian version of this soup uses vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

A couple of Portobello mushrooms and the chopped roasted red peppers go into the soup. It gets covered and sits on a low simmer. I let this one putter along for most of the afternoon.

I don't have a photo of me using my new toy. I puree the entire soup with the new hand-held blender that I got for Chirstmas. The entire puree then gets put through a sieve. The result is a beautiful rich brown soup stock. The residue that gets left behind is a great base for mushroom pâté. If you stop at this point, this soup freezes very well. I next add a couple of chopped mushrooms and a chopped roasted red pepper. The next time I make this soup, I'd also like to add a handful of pearl barley at this point. This soup is so full of great vegetables that it's really good for you.

Or not. I suppose it would make a fine soup without the heavy cream, but it wouldn't taste nearly as good. It's a great way to warm up during cold, dismal weather.

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At 14:27, Blogger cedrorum said...

That looks very tasty. I've never used portobellos in stock. I may have to try that. We've had our first 70 degree days in months this weekend. It is nice to feel the sun again. I was starting to get a taste of what you northerners must feel. Yes, at least it isn't snowing again for you.

At 15:50, Blogger Kathie Brown said...

Very nice step by step instructions Doug! Stay warm. We are eating New England Clam chowder (from a can) with cloudy skies and chilly weather here(for us) but no rain. Your homemade soup looks delicious but portabello mushrooms would be a new experience for me. I made homemade cinnamon rolls this morning though. Does that count? Comfort food all around I say.

At 18:58, Blogger Fresh Kiki said...

I wish my boys ate mushrooms! I made a cinnamon swirl coffee cake for breakfast-it was warm and yummy! Dinner was baked stuffed rigatoni(stuffed with ricotta) -baked with sauce and sausage- all with melty cheese-YUM!
Had to cook for the David's after being an away Mom skiing with girlfriends for 4 days!!!

At 19:32, Blogger R.Powers said...

That sounds great. Our weather was just the opposite of yours. Beautiful!

At 21:47, Blogger Ur-spo said...

I love a good soup! Best food I know.
How I wish I could make a new soup each week.

If you are tired of soup, then you are tired of life. ...

At 22:12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of soup, that Thai soup we had yesterday was soooo good!

Thanks for inviting me up - so good to finally meet you and Leon.


At 22:18, Blogger Doug Taron said...

cedrorum- I think that brown mushrooms make a much tastier stock than white mushrooms.

>I made homemade cinnamon rolls this morning though. Does that count?

Oh, that counts. Save one for me. And I totally agree that clam chowder is comfort food. Unless you put tomatoes in.

CG- Sounds like you had a great ski trip. The coffe cake and dinner both sound excellent.

FC- I'm not surprised, we had beautiful weather at the end of last week. You guys often get our weather, only much warmer and a couple of days later.

Spo- this type of soup is very eas. I do lots of variations like carrot and ginger or chicken and celery or leek. Cauliflower is good, too.

At 22:26, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Ted- the Thai soup is an old favorite of ours. Glad you liked it. We enjoyed meeting you, as well. What we really need is some sort of field adventure together.

At 01:03, Blogger SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Do you think this is fair?? No, it is not. Here we sit drooling all over our PC's and wishing for just a small taste of this delicious soup. We want samples sent to us next time please!! LOL!!

There are few things in life better than home made soup and bread. Hmmm!! That smell!! That taste!! See what you have done now...I am hungry!! LOL!!

At 08:22, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

Lotsa rain here! Good to see the sun out today...

At 12:06, Blogger robin andrea said...

That soup looks delicious. I'm definitely going to have to make it. Looks like a great way to spend a rainy Sunday.

At 13:47, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The STOCK part of this looks fabulous. I'm going to write this up to try at home. Thanks, Dr.

**A refous female is feeing at the window. YEA!

Glad you mentioned the variations since Rodg & I aren't big on mushrooms. Good stuff, Doug.


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