Friday, December 3, 2010
What’s better on a chilly, windy December day than hot soup? Hot homemade soup!
1 large onion, diced
1-1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced (I used mostly creminis; I would NOT use all “white mushrooms,” as I don‘t think they have as much flavor.)
3 - 5 cloves of garlic, crushed and/or minced
1 large can diced tomatoes, with juice
herbs -- your choice; I used a mix of oregano, basil, thyme and other stuff in a blend from Penzey's called "Sunny Paris," but an Italian blend would obviously be appropriate as well.
salt and pepper
1 - 2 Tablespoons olive oil
grated or shredded cheese, your choice -- I used asiago because I had it
6 cups chicken broth (if you want to keep it vegetarian, use vegetable broth or even water); I happened to have a couple of cups of turkey broth left over (!) so I used that and a 32-oz carton of low-sodium chicken broth.
Dice the onion. In a large pot -- my trusty cast-iron Dutch oven, for example -- "sweat" the onion for a couple of minutes while you rinse and slice the mushrooms. A sprinkle of salt is good, but go easy if you are using a commercial broth that is salty.
Add the sliced mushrooms and another pinch or so of salt. Stir occasionally, and be amazed at how much liquid comes out of the mushrooms. And that isn't from having washed them -- Alton Brown proved it on his show.
Add the garlic once there is enough liquid to keep it from burning. Burnt garlic is nasty.
After 5-10 minutes, add the tomatoes, juice and all, and the herbs. Stir and bring to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add the stock or other liquid and simmer another 15-20 minutes. Taste and add salt and/or pepper as needed.
Serve with bread, toasted bread or, since this is me doing it, toasted cheese bread. Garnish with basil (parsley would work, or you could skip the garnish and just eat the dang soup).
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- This is me enjoying a limoncello in Rome on the last night of our trip to Italy. Funny thing is, I don't really like limoncello that much, but thought it would be great in a dessert. And wouldn't you know, The Barefoot Contessa just did a great fruit salad with limoncello. So now I can't. Oh, well.