creamy, non dairy, warm, comforting, light, yet filling.
serve as a starter, side or main.
pureed soups are great for parties or quick family meals because they come together in no time and can always be made ahead. there's no meat that will get over cooked or veggies that will get mushy. it reheats well with no separation when non dairy and can be dressed for any occasion. serve on it's own or dolled up with a little greek yogurt and fresh herbs for the nice presentation.
a soup like this is so easy to make when you have an immersion blender or a Vitamix. i lean towards the stick blender when making hot soups. i don't like to transfer hot liquids from one vessel to another.
as you'll see this recipe is fairly elementary...saute the vegetables, add the stock, season well, cook for a little while to combine flavors and puree.
quick note on the dried mushrooms...i always have a big container of dried shitake mushrooms in the pantry. i find they are always reliable, a bit stronger and they add a nice woodsy flavor to many dishes. i find them at Costco for a great price. if you want to use fresh, go ahead...i don't know the quantity...maybe 1/2 - 3/4 lb.?
and GARAM MASALA ?...a wonderful blend of spices mostly associated with Indian food. it usually includes coriander, chili, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, mustard, black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom. here is just one of many recipes for Garam Masala. you can make your own, but i buy it for 1.99$...much easier. garam masala can very greatly from vendor to vendor. the brand i like best is by SADAF called Garam Masala Seasoning. i find mine at a great market called Wholesome Choice in Irvine, CA.
MUSHROOM SOUP WITH MIDDLE EASTERN FLAVORS
makes almost 6 cups
1 lb. crimini and white mushrooms, sliced
1 heaping cup (20 Grams) of dried shitake mushrooms
(rehydrate in 1 cup of boiling water)
1/2 onion diced
1 small shallot, diced
3 - 5 cloves ROASTED garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil, separated
1/2 Tbsp butter
3 cups chicken broth. homemade is best but i only had 2 cups so i had to use 1 cup of canned low sodium
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp Garam Masala
1 tsp salt...more or less to taste
fresh ground pepper
roast a garlic head in 380 F oven for 40 min.
rehydrate dried shitake mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water and let sit.
saute onion and shallot with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt in stock pot that you will be cooking the soup in until translucent. you might need to add a splash of stock to this...i was trying to keep the oil at a minimum.
add garam maslala and saute for a couple minutes to wake up the spices then add 1/2 cup white wine and bring to a boil. turn off heat and set aside.
saute crimini and white mushrooms in a skillet with 1Tbsp olive oil and a pat of butter until golden brown. when done set aside some of the best looking slices for garnish.
dice the shitake mushrooms and add with mushroom liquid to the stock pot.
add sauteed mushrooms, roasted garlic, diced shitake and chicken stock to the stock pot.
bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.
get your immersion-stick blender out and puree to desired thickness. i like to puree until smooth creamy texture. if it's too thick for you, add some more stock and bring back to a quick boil so flavors will meld as one.
check for seasoning. salt?...pepper?...
ready to serve as is or garnish as you please.
try a little dollop of plain yogurt and your reserved mushroom slices with a sprinkle of parsley or chives.
you could add a touch of heavy cream, but i find it isn't necessary...i try to keep the fat to a minimum and cream seems to make the soup heavy.