Monday, December 19, 2011

Balthazar's Cream of Mushroom Soup

Based on my grocery store offerings, this is a slightly bastardized version of the original Balthazar Mushroom Soup.  Don't hate, because this is nothing if not a legitimate recipe.


1 package dried shiitake mushrooms
1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 package oyster mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 sprig rosemary (finely chopped)
5 sprigs sage (finely chopped)
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups chicken stock (one box good quality chicken stock)
splash of half and half or heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


our one cup of warm water over the dried mushrooms to let soak for 20-30 minutes, until soft and plump.  Strain the soaking liquid and mushrooms through a sieve and coffee filter to catch any dirt/grit.  Slick, then reserve the mushrooms and cooking liquid for later.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a big soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the herbs in to infuse the oil for a few minutes, then add the onio, garlic, salt, and pepper and stir until soft.  Turn the heat to high and add the baby bella nd oyster mushrooms.  Stir occasionally as the mushrooms release any liquid and start to soften.  Add the chicken stock and then the shiitake mushrooms and the liquid they had originally soaked in.  Lower heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the 2 tbsp of butter, and stir to melt and incorporate.  Working in batches (or with an immersion blender) blend the soup until smooth and velvety.  Return to the pot, and add a splash of the half-and-half or heavy cream (but not too much). Keep on a low simmer until ready to serve.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Carrot Ginger Soup

I got this from a book that we've had for years now, "The Complete Book of 400 Soups."  And make no mistake, that is no typo.  Four Hundred.  Guess who's making more soups for you this winter?


2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1.5 lb. carrots, chopped
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh root ginger
5 cups chicken stock
7 tbsp. heavy whipping cream or greek yogurt (optional)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, if on hand. (If not, ground will do)
1 tsp. cumin
Salt, Pepper to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)


Melt the butter, add the onion and celery, and cook for five minutes over medium-high heat, and sprinkle some salt on as well.  Then stir in the potato, carrots, ginger, and stock, and a dash of red pepper flakes if you wish to add some kick.  Bring to a boil.  Next, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Pour the soup into the food processor (you may have to do this in batches if you have a small food processor, like mine), and blend until smooth.  Return the completely blended soup to the pan, and stir in nutmeg, cumin, salt, and pepper to your liking.  Add the cream if you wish, however, I added a dollop of Greek yogurt to the soup in my bowl, with a spattering of sliced almonds toasted with cumin on top, and it was out of this world. Healthier than cream, too.  Serve hot and enjoy!