Posts Tagged ‘how to’

Mushroom’s Cream Soup


I don’t care what any of you godless atheists say; good soup is proof that there are powers bigger than–and beyond the understanding of–us humans. Refute me; I dare you. In the meantime, though, get mushroom-slapped in the mouth with this recipe.

Ingredients:

1lb mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

4-cups vegetable stock, heated

1-cup fat free cream

1-2 tbs. Veggie Grated Topping (more on this at the bottom of the page)

1/4-cup  butter or butter substitute

2 tbs. all-purpose flour

2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp. ground clove

2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2-3 tsp. dried marjoram

Salt and pepper, to taste (probably significantly more of the latter)

The following group of steps involves making a rue, albeit with a couple steps between the rudimentary ‘melt fat, add flour’. Don’t worry–this rue isn’t complicated; it just has some added steps. A rue is a great way to thicken up things like soups and cheese sauces (you’ll see it again when I do my–so far–all-time favorite recipe: my yet-cleverly-named mac & cheese. It’s more or less equal portions of fat and flour, although I kind eyeball it when I’m doing it and adjust the butter and flour as necessary. If you want a more detailed account of how to make a rue, check out this video and description over at Mom on Wheels. Just a little aside, though: I do not use the initial oil before I add the butter; I just jump right into it. Oh, and heat up the liquid (veggie stock, here) before you add it; this will help the butter and flour de-clump faster. The liquid shouldn’t boil, but warm or steaming is good.

Ok, enough with that–I’m hungry. I recommend using a large, high-walled frying pan for this (think a large sauce pan) to allow for good heat distribution (or, if you have it, a medium sized pot, which, unfortunately, I don’t have.). Melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and thyme, stirring and cooking for a minute or two, until the garlic is translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms, ground clove, marjoram, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and brown. Finally, add the flour and stir.

Lower the heat a bit and add the vegetable sock, stirring vigorously. Try to get out as many clumps as you can, but don’t worry about making it perfect–the smaller ones should cook out. (Just try to make sure there are no clumps in your finished product, since no one likes flour balls with a squishy exterior.) Up the heat and bring the thing to a boil. During this time–when it’s coming to a boil–is when you want to work out the remaining clumps. Now reduce the heat to low and let the bad boy simmer for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally.

Whisk the cream and Veggie Grated Topping into the soup. Up the heat to medium-low and make sure to not let the soup boil. Trust me, you don’t want it to burn; it will taste horrible and cleaning the pan/pot will suck. A lot. Just get it hot enough to serve. If you want to make it thicker, feel free to whisk in some low fat sour cream or (my always popular) fat free mozzarella cheese. Just do so a little at a time so you don’t end up with a paste.

Feel free to garnish with some additional Veggie Grated Topping, full sprigs of thyme, or chives. The soup also goes great with some whole wheat or grain artisanal bread. In fact, I have a feeling this is going to be a huge cornerstone of my Thanksgiving dinner (something I’m still trying to figure out as a veg virgin). Also, mix it up with the mushrooms a bit. I only used simple white mushrooms and I’m allergic to portobellos, but this soup should be great with some wild, porcini, and/ or cremini cremini mushrooms. Go: experiment. Just don’t you even think of feeding me a portobello, ass.

Non-Veg Friendly Factor: 5. Fine, so between the Baked Chili Rellenos and this soup I’ve kind of been cheating with the Veg Friendly thing because I’m just making standard (although healthified) recipes. Bite my bird. This soup is a great way to quench a craving for cold weather comfort food, especially with a big hunk of bread. If anything, I hope some of these recipes can prove to any non-vegs that a transition to vegetarianism–or almost vegetarianism–is wholly possible without being a huge pain in the ass. So for all of you haters looking for a new way to incorporate seitan: wait and enjoy this soup. Ass.

As for the Veggie Grated Topping: it may sound gross, but it tastes exactly like Parmesan cheese. Plus, remember my Parmesan retraction at the bottom of my Silken Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo post? Retraction retracted, kind of. Eat this stuff and you’ll never buy–or miss–animal stomach Parmesan again. You’re welcome.

How to Roast Peppers


It’s hard to beat the flavor of roasted peppers. They add a great dimension to salads, sandwiches, chili, breakfast cereals, etc. Plus, adding the words ‘Roasted Pepper’ to any recipe makes it sound like it has a higher skill level. Just a heads-up, though: this flavor can be overwhelming. While tooling around with my Baller-Ass Chili, I used some roasted poblano peppers and it was all I could taste. So, if you want to use roasted peppers, make sure to build the dish around this ingredient or use a very small amount.

The best part about roasted peppers: easy as hell to make. So easy, there’s no need to EVER buy them in a jar. If you own a grill, oven, or gas stove, you can save some money (and if you don’t own these things, what the hell are you doing on my blog?). My favorite method is the gas stove, but the others work just as well—albeit a little slower.

First of all, rub the pepper with oil

Second:

For a grill: Place over medium-high to high heat. Rotate and char on all sides.

For an oven: Place under the broiler on high as close to the heating unit as you can get while still avoiding direct contact. Rotate and char on all sides.

For a gas stove: Place directly over a high flame. Rotate and char on all sides.

It’s important to not let the pepper sit on the heat too long after it blackens; you just want to char the skin, not cook the pepper all the way through.

Once all sides are blackened, place the pepper into a container and cover. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Make sure to get cover the pepper as quickly as possible—you want the heat to steam it so the skin can peel right off. When the time is up, just use your hands and peel the skin. I don’t recommend leaving it on—it tastes like straight burn, not too good. You can go over to my Baked Chili Rellenos recipe to see these roasted poblanos put into action.

Welcome to flavor country.