Monday, July 27, 2009

Mushroom Bacon soup

2 weeks ago, the local supermarket had a special: button mushrooms for $0.50 per package! Unheard of! The reason was the "sell by" date was the following day. So I brought them home that day and cooked them up. I like them as a spread on grandma's bread, in omelettes, etc. They had been sitting in the fridge for a few days, so I thought I would try something new. Well, it turned out pretty well. I made it without the cream, but it would be nice for some added richness.

Mushroom Bacon Soup

Serves 2

1 medium onion, diced
2-3 strips bacon
1 container button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shot (1.5 oz) brandy
2 tbsp butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
1 + 1 cup (2 c. total) homemade chicken stock (or good-quality boxed chicken stock)
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat chicken stock in a small pot to a boil; reduce heat to low.
  2. In a skillet, cook bacon, draining on towels. Pour off all bacon fat from pan. Over high heat, add 2 tbsp butter. Add onions, and cook til translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add a shot (1.5 oz) of brandy. Flame off (if desired) or cook til evaporates, about 2 minutes. Reemove from heat.
  4. Reserve about 2 tbsp mushroom/bacon mixture for garnish.
  5. Add remaining mixture to blender. Add about 1 cup stock, puree mushrooms. Adjust mixture with remaining (or more) stock if needed, so it's more like soup (a bit runny) and NOT like baby food (or applesauce).
  6. Return to pot over medium heat to keep warm. Add cream if desired, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve in bowls, garnished with reserved mushroom/bacon mixture and a sprinkle of thyme.

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