Friday, September 17, 2010


Early this week we made soup. Lots of soup. Soup is easy, and you can use almost any veggie in it. We still have some for lunch today.

This one started with chicken stock. We added summer squash, zucchini, wax beans, tomatoes, roasted red and green bell peppers, ground beef, and hot sausage (the meats were browned separately.) It came out pretty good once we added enough salt and spices. Would have been better with onion, but we didn't have any.

Roasted peppers: this is pretty much the only way we do bell peppers now. It takes off the skin, which often gets bitter if you cook with bell peppers.
Cut them in half, leave the seeds and stem, and put cut-side-down on a pan. Put under the broiler until skin is blackened. Cover with tinfoil for 10 minutes or so. Then, peel off skin and take out seeds and stem. They're cooked at this point, so add them to your dish when it's almost done. Easy and tasty!

Tonight, since our veggie soup will be gone, we're going to make cream of mushroom soup. That's one we love, and we haven't made it for a while. Like our tomato soup, this one is much better than Campbell's version - there's no MSG, for one thing. I don't think I've posted our recipe yet, so here it is:

4 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups chicken stock
8 oz. each baby bellas, shitakes, and those round white ones (or whatever mushrooms you like)
1 large yellow onion
1.5 tablespoons butter
Pork cubes, if you want them
Salt & pepper to taste
Marsala wine to taste

Saute diced mushroom in butter in your pot. They'll start to sweat, and you'll find they make a lot of liquid; add diced onion and the chicken stock, and let it all reduce for a while.

Add cream. If desired, add pork pieces (brown them first; if desired, deglaze the pan and add that to your pot, too. I use marsala wine to deglaze.)
Add some marsala wine. Add salt and pepper. (Like the tomato soup, it'll be more salt than you expect.) Let it all simmer and reduce until it's the thickness you like; if you added pork, make sure that's cooked. Stir fairly often. Cream doesn't burn easily, but it does boil over.

It's super-tasty, and pretty filling due to all that cream. I recommend eating it slowly - it's pretty easy to eat too much and feel overfull. If you can, try to find organic cream, and definitely use heavy cream rather than half-and-half so you don't have to reduce it as long. Unfortunately I haven't found a brand of organic heavy cream in any of our local grocery stores. Just not in demand, I guess. Maybe I'll try Trader Joe's tonight.

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