ChatterRecipe of the Month November 2011
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup with Cheesy-Garlic Croutons
In case you hadn’t noticed, each month’s recipe is not only designed to be delicious, but it is also deliberately tied in with that month’s theme, and more specifically with the Astrological sign that rules over it. So for this month, I asked my teacher for some Scorpio food or ingredient suggestions, and as we talked, it all became very clear.
Of course they would eat that, I thought to myself – makes perfect sense! So one perfect example for this month and the sign of Scorpio is Mushrooms. Mushrooms, especially Shiitake, are great blood and stomach cleansers as well as powerful detoxifiers and sources of nourishment. Symbolically, Shiitake mushrooms are known to draw up the rich medicine of the earth and deliver it to those who eat them. Their transformative powers are magnificent and it is those powers that so closely relate them to their ruler, the powerfully transformative sign of Scorpio. Scorpios like to live in damp, dark places, and so do mushrooms! Mushrooms possess healing and transformative qualities, as do Scorpios. Need I say more? So on to the recipe, which is Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup. I chose a soup because Scorpio as a Water sign is also related to liquids and we are heading into the season where we crave hearty soups and stews. And although the chef behind this recipe is a Libra, and not quite a Scorpio, he is associated with the South, and New Orleans, which is ruled by… yes, you guessed it, Scorpio. So this recipe comes courtesy of Emeril “Bam” Lagasse!
6 tablespoons Butter (unsalted)
1 cup Yellow Onions (chopped)
½ cup Celery (chopped)
¼ teaspoon Cayenne
1½ teaspoons Garlic (minced)
6oz Shiitake Mushrooms (wiped clean, stems trimmed & sliced)
6oz Oyster Mushrooms (wiped clean, stems trimmed & sliced)
8oz Cremini or Button Mushrooms (wiped clean, stems trimmed & sliced)
2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme Leaves
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly ground)
1/3 cup Brandy
6 cups Chicken Stock (substitute with Vegetable Stock if you are vegetarian)
1½ cups Heavy Cream
1 French Bread Baguette (about 8 inches long, cut into ½ inch thick slices)
3 cloves Garlic (peeled & crushed)
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (finely grated)
In a large pot, melt the Butter over medium-high heat. Add the Onions, Celery, and Cayenne and cook, stirring, until soft, for about 4 minutes. Add the Garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Then add the Mushrooms, Thyme, Salt, and Black Pepper, and continue to stir and cook for about 7 more minutes, until the Mushrooms give off their liquid and start to brown. Add the Brandy, bring to a boil and cook until glazed, about 2 minutes. Add the Stock and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree with either a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor. Add in the Heavy Cream, return to a simmer, and cook gently for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning, to taste. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rub both sides of the French Bread slices with the crushed Garlic and place on a baking sheet. With a pastry brush, brush 1 side with the Olive Oil. Top with a fine sprinkling of the Parmesan Cheese and bake until the Cheese is bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top each serving with 2 croutons. Yummy!