Saturday, September 28, 2013

Spring Mushroom Soup with Aromatic Vegetables

Our normally beautiful spring has been erratic this year. Rain, that should have stopped weeks ago, continues to fall unpredictably and we've been pelted with stinging hail that makes local farmers shudder, and guarantees a late harvest in an area that's dependent on agricultural income and the jobs it provides. Their jobs may appear to be bucolic but they're surely not stress free, or, for that matter, guaranteed. To make matters worse, one of our local TV stations has a maniacal forecaster who, I swear to God, smiles whenever there's bad weather to report. Now I know he's young and been taught to be personable on air, but it gets to be a bit much at times. Were a tidal wave to hit the coast or a comet race towards earth, I'm certain he'd report it with a smile. Normally, at this time of year I've moved on to much lighter fare, but there have been days this spring when that smile of his has warned of weather that's cold and damp enough to warrant a warming soup. While I've drawn a line of sorts in the sand and refuse to make our winter favorites, I have been experimenting with lighter and quicker soups to ease the spring chill. This wonderful soup is an example of that lighter fare. It was inspired by one Emeril Lagasse created for Good Morning America years ago. I really like this and I think those of you who try it will like it, too. It uses a handful of everyday ingredient and can be on the table in an hour or less, depending on your knife skills. No special instructions are required to make this delicious, mostly mushroom soup. Here's the recipe.

Spring Mushroom Soup with Aromatic Vegetables...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Emeril Lagasse


1 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup finely diced smoked bacon

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2 pound quartered button mushrooms

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup frozen green peas

1/4 cup heavy cream


1) In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter and oil over medium high heat until hot. Add bacon and cook, stirring, until bacon is crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

2) Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until mushrooms release their liquid and have begun to brown around edges, about 5 minutes.

3) Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

4) Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in peas and cream and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

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