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Monday, November 14, 2011

Mushroom Soup

This recipe is one that I do from memory and constantly change, improvise and add to, and that always scares me. I was really almost nervous about blogging about it but I persevered and I'm glad I did. One thing though, I seem always to forget that mushrooms and onions render a lot of moisture. Even when I think I've added more than enough flour for my roux, I always end up needing to add cornstarch towards the end. But then again, it means that I always add extra port, and that can never be a bad thing for such a rich and savory soup. 

Long story short (too late), if you want to avoid using cornstarch, I'd add an extra two heaping tbsp of flour. If you don't mind using cornstarch, follow in my footsteps!

Mushroom Soup with Roast Beef
serves 8

Olive oil
6 - 8oz roast beef luncheon meat
1 large onion, chopped
3 heaping tbsp flour
8oz white mushrooms, thinly sliced
8oz white mushrooms, finely chopped
1 8oz package sliced baby portabella mushrooms
8 cups reduced sodium beef broth
1/2 cup port
2 - 3tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp port
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Baguette slices

Okay! So to prep your mushrooms, whip out your Cuisinart. If you don't have one, do it by hand. Before Todd and I got married (and were gifted with my kitchen mistress, the Cuisinart), I had to do it by hand. I'll be honest, it took SO LONG. Thank God the recipe called for alcohol, sipping it helps alleviate the tedium of finely chopping half a pound of mushrooms.

ANYWAYS. Chop chop:

After you finish your chopping, mincing, dicing and slicing, here's what you'll have:

(Note my adorable recipe card box that I maniacally collaged. I am a Party Puff Girl). Now that your mushrooms are prepared, it's time to start cooking. Heat up your butter and olive oil and once the pot is hot, add the roast beef to sear it, and also to lend its flavor to the soup:

Now, you will want to avoid what I did so make sure you add that olive oil, or your butter will burn and leave you with an ungodly mess. Luckily, after I took out the beef, I added some water and was able to loosen up and dump out the burned crap. But I did leave some in, because it actually smelled pretty good:

Very professional, I know. On to the onion! Chop that puppy up, wipe away the tears and add to the pot along with some more butter, those 3tbsp mentioned in the ingredient list. Did I ever tell you that my family is French? J'adore le beurre!

As that cooks, finely chop the roast beef and set aside.

Once the butter melts and the onions soften and turn golden, it's time to add the flour (remember, add more if you want to avoid cornstarch later). It will be super clumpy, but just keep whisking it:

Add the sliced mushrooms, both types, and stir it up. Now I have Bob Marley in my head. "Stir it up, little darling"

Add enough of the broth until the clumps of flour loosen and it smooths out. Let that simmer and bubble for about 5 minutes. Pardon my steam:

Now it's time to add the rest of the broth and the chopped mushrooms. So pretty!

Bring that BAMF* to a boil:

Reduce heat and simmer for an hour. Stir in your roast beef, Worcestershire and port At this point, if you did what I did, you will discover it's still too thin:

In steps my hero, cornstarch mixed with port. Yay, more port!:

Add that to the soup and then add 1/2 cup Parmesan. This is an example of how this recipe constantly changes, I never did this before. Actually, I used steak in the past, never roast beef. But anyways, toss in that cheese:

Stir it up, rasta man:

Ah, perfection at last!

Finally! A good texture, not too thin, not too thick, very full-bodied and rich. Salt and pepper go in, and out comes the finished soup, into a bowl and topped with a sprinkling of cheese and a nice toasted slice of baguette.

Delicious! We each had two servings and still had enough left over for like four more bowls. Excellent!


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