I am sure that when people think vegetarian cooking my blog is one of the last that comes to mind. For all the meat centric dishes that are displayed on this blog there is a lot of vegetarian dishes that play second fiddle but never get any credit. This needs to change because I have this fear that the vegetables in my garden will rise up and haunt me. Even worse would be the precious tomatoes I have spent all spring and summer pampering with punk music, amazing soil, good fertilizer, and proper watering will commit suicide all over my siding.
I am a huge fan of wild mushrooms and enjoy hunting them (Elmer Fudd singing kill the rabbit just started running through my head) but my last couple of adventures in the woods have produced zero results. However, thank you grocery store and an amazing selection of dried and fresh mushrooms. This definitely helps relieve the frustration of coming up empty handed and fulfills my craving for earthy flavors.
The amazing part about using dried mushrooms is the liquid you have soaked the mushrooms to hydrate is permeated with amazing mushroom flavor (mushroom martini anyone). If I do not use this liquid in the dish I will at least fill up a jar with it and freeze it for future endeavors.
To answer the next question no I did not make the bread. Although I looked ahead and turned all giddy because I noticed baguettes are coming up soon in the Bread Baker Apprentice challenge. Woohoo!! Wait I just admitted to getting giddy over making bread. Damn you evil bread devil and your promise of baked goods!!!!
For this dish you will need:
- 1 ounce of dried mushrooms hydrated in 1 cup of water (bring water to boil, kill heat, add mushrooms, cover, relax for 30 minutes, strain keeping the glorious liquid)
- Package of fresh mushrooms sliced (I used baby bellas and I believe the package size was 10 ounces)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 cup of cream
- 2 leeks diced
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 sprigs of rosemary and 4 springs of thyme tied together (really you do not have to tie them together it just makes it easier to fish out before you blend)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
I have decided to try something new and go with numbered steps for this recipe.
- In your favorite cast iron Dutch oven or large pot melt the butter over medium-high.
- After the butter has melted add the leeks with pinch of salt and pepper and cook till softened (about 5 minutes).
- Add in the mushrooms and cook till they have shrunk and turned golden brown (about 8-10 minutes).
- Add in the garlic and paprika and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add in the flour and stir till combined (about 2 minutes).
- Deglaze with the wine and then add everything but the cream to the pot.
- Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and let it go for a good 30 minutes.
- Taste the soup and adjust the flavors. Once you are happy fish out the thyme stems, rosemary, and bay leaves.
- Take the soup for a spin in your food processor or blender until it is chopped up. Be careful and hold on to the lid tightly and pulse. Hot liquids and pressure could paint the walls of your kitchen a ugly color brown.
- Stir in the 1 cup of cream.
Serve and enjoy with some Parmesan covered crusty bread and chives sprinkled over top of the soup. For the record my chives plant grows like a freaking weed so you are going to be seeing a lot of chives garnishes.