Friday, January 30, 2015

Red wine and mushroom soup

The idea for this soup came to me a couple of weeks ago. I had leftover red wine from a dinner with friends that I had to use up and a bucket of mushrooms in the fridge.

Here's what I came up with. Hope you'll like this recipe and try it at home!

INGREDIENTS (4 people):
- 1x 8oz bucket of cremini mushrooms
- 3/4 cups red wine
- 4 cups broth (I used beef, but feel free to use chicken or vegetable broth)
- 1 small onion (or 1/2 medium)
- 3 medium russet potatoes
- a splash of olive oil
- salt, pepper to taste
- a sprig of thyme (not pictured)
- 3 rashes of thick cut bacon, finely chopped (not pictured)
- optional: dried porcini mushrooms (I just did not have any on hand, but would have added it to the soup had I had some!)

- optional: if you have dried porcini on hand, rehydrate them with 1/2 cup boiling water and let them steep for 30 minutes, then drain them thoroughly, chop them and reserve the liquid
Note: using rehydrated porcini mushrooms will add a deep earthy mushroomy flavor to this soup. I highly recommend splurging :) 
- peel and dice the potatoes and onion in 1/4 inch cubes and slice the mushrooms thinly

- in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and a sprinkle of salt and saute until nice and golden

Note: at first, they will render a LOT of moisture and start to steam. This is perfectly normal and when the moisture evaporates, they will eventually become crispy and golden.
- when the mushrooms are cooked, add the onions and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent

Note: if you are using rehydrated porcini mushrooms, add them at this stage
- deglaze with the wine, then add the potatoes, thyme and broth and bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat

Note: if you are using rehydrated porcini, add the reserved liquid at this stage
- lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender

- while the soup is cooking, crisp up the sliced bacon in a skillet and reserve on a paper towel

- when the potatoes are cooked through, pour out 1 to 2 cups of soup in a small container and using a stick blender, puree until smooth then return the pureed soup to the bigger pot

Note: this is an optional step that thickens the soup and adds a creamy texture without adding any cream, flour or cornstarch
- sprinkle a spoonful of crispy bacon on top and enjoy!

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