Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lesson 1 Recipes - Crème Olga Mushroom Soup

A delicate white soup with fresh mushrooms. Serves approximately 4.

5 Tbs. butter
¾ cup chopped green onions, white and light green parts only
4 Tbs. flour
5 cups stock (chicken or vegetable), kept warm
½ cup crème fraiche (or sour cream), + more for garnish
1½ cups white button mushrooms, brushed clean and trimmed
salt and fresh ground white pepper, to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
Fresh chives, for garnish

Melt butter in heavy saucepan or saucier over medium-low heat. Add green onions to pan, stir until well coated with butter. Allow onions to cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened and slightly translucent.

Stir in flour, making a roux (equal parts fat and flour cooked together to create a thickening agent for sauces, soups and stews). Cook butter and flour over medium heat until mixture gives off a nutty aroma, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. This is called cooking out the flour and eliminates the unpleasant raw flour taste.

Begin adding stock to saucepan, whisking constantly as stock is added, adding a little at a time until all has been added. Bring mixture just up to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne.

Meanwhile, slice about ¾ of the mushrooms and add these to the simmering stock. Using an immersion blender, lightly puree the mushroom mixture until the desired consistency is reached. Some like to leave it fairly chunky, while others prefer a smoother puree.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, add the sliced mushrooms to the bowl of a food processor or to a blender. Using a ladle, add about 2 cups of the hot stock mixture to the food processor or blender. Be careful to secure the lid firmly and to not overload the amount of hot liquid in either the blender or food processor. Pulse until desire consistency is reached. Return pureed mushrooms to saucepan with remaining stock mixture.

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