Monday, October 12, 2009

10.12 Time for soup

Anyone who knew me while I was growing up would be astounded to hear me say that Fall means Time for Soup. Growing up, I hated soup, just as growing up, my sister hated cheese. As each of us went out into the world of Being the Grown-up, we discovered we were wrong. Rather than disliking an entire category of food, we simply disliked that portion of the category we had been exposed to so far.

Each set of parents presents their children with those food they themselves like, rationally enough. One doesn't usually get up in the morning and say - I think today I'll buy some food I hate eating and make let the kids try it. For one thing, my experience with kids is that it takes between 3 and 7 exposures to a new food before they like it (fewer if it's similar enough to something they already like).* The wider that parents' tastes in food, the wider the children's exposure will be, but it still doesn't usually cover the entire possible gamut. My parents ate a lot of different things, but...

Anyway. Back to soup.

One of my favorites is my version of Mushroom Parmesan Soup, modified from Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Soups and Stews (this is a book I've enjoyed very much in trying new soups out).

1.5 pounds mushrooms (This time I used a mix of Maitake (Hen of the Woods), Oyster, Crimini and a small package of dried Morels, reconstituted. - previously I've also used Shitake, Chanterelle and Enoki mushrooms in the mix - each different combination gives a slightly different end product. I haven't decided on the definitive combination yet, and may never!)
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped.
2 cups scallions, chopped.
3 T butter
2 T flour
4 cups stock (beef or chicken. If beef, I use red wine; if chicken, white.)
1/2 c wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 egg yolks
2 T chopped fresh parsley
3/4 c grated parmesan cheese

Chop the stems off the mushrooms and roughly cut. Slice mushrooms thinly.
Heat oil in soup pot. Add mushroom stems, garlic and scallions. Steam, covered, for about ten minutes, stirring frequently. Put this into a food processor and turn into a chunky paste (don't overdo the processing). Put the paste back into the soup pot, add the butter and flour, stir until melted and merged together.

Stir in the stock and the sliced mushroom caps. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the wine and stir.

Mix the egg yolks, parsley and parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Stir into the soup mix. Serve immediately, usually with fresh bread. (Note: This was a taste 5 for K & S - everyone had some and I didn't have to listen to any whining!)

This leaves you with 4 egg whites (usually). After dinner, heat the oven to 350F. Beat the egg whites and 1/4 tsp salt on high to stiff peaks. Add 1 tsp almond extract. On a medium speed, gradually add (1 T at a time) 1 cup granulated sugar. When the sugar is all mixed in, measure out 1 T batter at a time onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. These won't expand, so you can put your batter dabs quite close together. Put cookie sheet in the oven and turn off the heat. Leave the oven closed until morning. Enjoy your Forgotten Cookies the next day.

*Our conversations go something like this:
Taste 1: Ew xyz is awful.
Taste 2: Yuk.
Taste 3: Why do you always make xyz?
Many months later, why don't you ever make xyz?
Taste 4: This is great!


beadlizard said...

Thank you! I might just add a bit of heavy cream instead of the roux. Hmmm.

Oh, and I hated soup when I was little, until I made my own WITHOUT SALT. Now I have soup every day.

gayle said...

Soup wasn't great for me, growing up. Campbells. Argh. I love my own homemade *real* soup.
This sounds wonderful, but husband won't eat mushrooms in any form... *sigh*

Elizabeth said...

I hope you like it. I've debated the heavy cream idea myself, but never tried it. Report back?

My thought about making the soup this time was that if K & S didn't want any it would be all the more for me. Humph - they ate some, leaving me less for lunches.

It does keep well!