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.