02 Nov Special of the day: Love soup? Join the club
It all started with…a bowl of soup. A bowl of soup ordered at the Rendezvous Bistro in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that is, last month during my annual college girls’ getaway trip.
This was not just any old bowl of soup, mind you, but rather a velvety smooth cream of mushroom married with thyme so savored that it soon was circulated around the table for all to taste, our first night out for dinner together.
I understand that everything tastes better in the company of great friends. And a perfectly paired wine will always enhance the experience. But honestly, this was a great bowl of soup. So delicious, in fact, it would be the subject of adoration and worship throughout that fun-filled evening and the very impetus for an email soup club that bubbled up as a way for us to stay connected across the miles. That’s some soup, I say.
To kick off our soup club, I dug out a favorite, Spicy Sausage Soup with Chipotle Cream, and sent it out, which prompted my friend Christina to share the authentic New England Clam Chowder recipe she and her brother-in-law had recently made together. (http://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/new-england-clam-chowder-recipe.html#axzz1aKxBwXy9)
Not long after, I found myself watching You Tube clips from the hilarious Soup Nazi on Seinfeld (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVqBzP0xdKk&feature=related) and calling the Rendezvous Bistro in hopes of securing the now legendary Cream of Mushroom soup recipe to pass along to the soup club -and to share with you. Within the hour, Sous Chef Matty Melehes had dialed me up and was sending the recipe my way. What luck!
Perhaps you’d like to start a soup club of your own, or maybe just try some new soup suppers soon. With thanks to Sous Chef Matty Melehes and the Rendezvous Bistro, I give you this week’s Special of the day: Let Them Eat Soup! and recipes for Cream of Mushroom Soup, Spicy Sausage Soup with Chipotle Cream, Dilled Leek, Potato and Ham Soup and Zucchini Basil Parmesan Soup. Happy cooking!
Cream of Mushroom Soup
from the Rendezvous Bistro
1 pound crimini mushrooms-rough chop
1 pound shitake mushrooms–rough chop
1 pound porcini mushrooms-rough chop
1 pound butter
1 gallon heavy cream
2 yellow onions-rough chop
4 cloves garlic-rough chop
3 tablespoons fresh thyme-minced
1 cup porcini powder
4 cups chicken broth (optional)
Start with a heavy bottomed pot on low-medium heat. Melt down butter and add onions, cook until translucent then add garlic. Let the aromatics sauté for about ten minutes on low heat. Add all your mushrooms, and cook down for another ten minutes, or until they start to release some of their liquid. Add porcini powder, and stir until it coats the mushrooms well. Add heavy cream and chicken broth, if you would like to keep it vegetarian, use either 2 cups water or a vegetable broth. On low heat cook for roughly 30 min, puree lightly with a hand blender or a normal house hold blender will work fine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with fresh thyme.
Matty Melehes- Sous Chef
Joel Tate- Chef de Cuisine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 andouille sausages (found with breakfast sausages in grocery stores)cut into ½ inch slices, then cut in half.
2 garlic cloves, minced
1- 12-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock to chicken
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped.
7-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (available in the Mexican foods aisle).
8-ounce container of sour cream
½ teaspoon salt.
1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a Dutch oven or large heavy soup pot.
2. Brown chicken in olive oil.
3. Add garlic cloves and sausage to pan and brown.
4. Remove from heat. Drain oil from pan.
5. Add diced tomatoes with juice and chicken stock to chicken and sausage. Return to burner and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes.
6. When ready to serve, add heavy whipping cream and basil leaves. Chipotle Cream
1. Remove 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from a 7-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (available in the Mexican foods aisle).
2. Blend together in a food processor or blender.
3. Add the sour cream and salt.
4. Blend together and transfer into a small plastic baggie.
5. Snip corner of baggie to squirt chipotle cream out.
6. Garnish soup by creating a swirl of chipotle cream on top of soup in each bowl, starting in the middle and working out to the edge of the bowl. Dilled Leek, Potato and Ham Soup recipe by Sydne George (serves 6) 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic 2 large leeks, thoroughly washed and dried, cut into 1 inch slices 3 cups chicken stock 3 cups red potatoes, cubed 1 cup diced ham, or more, if desired 1 cup half and half 1 tablespoon dried dill ¼ cup sour cream, for garnish ¼ cup chopped green onions, for garnish In a Dutch oven or other medium heavy stock pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook garlic until soft. Add leeks, cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes, until leeks are softened. Remove from heat. Add chicken stock and puree with immersion blender until smooth. (Or puree in blender.) Strain and return soup base to soup pot. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add ham, half and half and dill and cook until heated through. Garnish each serving of soup with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped green onions. Enjoy! Zucchini Basil Soup with Parmesan Cheese and Croutons recipe by Sydne George (serves 6) 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic 3 medium zucchini, washed and sliced into thin rounds ½ sweet onion, sliced into thin rings ¼ cup prepared pesto 4 cups chicken stock (26-ounce carton) ½ cup minced fresh basil Fresh basil leaves, for garnish In a Dutch oven or other medium heavy stock pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook garlic until soft. Add zucchini and onions, cover and cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Add pesto and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Serve hot with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, minced basil and croutons. Enjoy! While soup is simmering, make the croutons: Croutons for soup: 4 slices whole wheat bread, cubed Olive oil Dried basil Salt Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread bread cubes over rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and dried basil to cover. Sprinkle with salt. Toast in preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, stirring occasionally.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sydne’s “Special of the day” columns and recipes are archived at: http://sydnegeorge.com/blog.