Sunday, January 18, 2009


Tonight for dinner, I made something that Jason would not touch with a 10-foot pole: Heidi Swanson's Porcini Mushroom Soup. If you haven't visited 101 cookbooks yet, go there immediately. Actually, finish reading this post, and then go there. Heidi uses good-for-you ingredients in some amazing dishes. I truly admire her wholesome, simple-yet-exciting outlook on food, as well as her equally inspiring photos.

This soup is a great example of how just a few totally pure ingredients make a delicious, perfect dish. I didn't use quite as much oil as she calls for, but I wasn't shy with it, either. I replaced the fresh rosemary with a big pinch of herbes de Provence, and I halved everything because my package of mushrooms was only 1 ounce, and since this is only for me, I figured half the soup would be that I've tasted it, I wish I'd made the full batch—I could eat this for days! *One big note that is not in Heidi's recipe: make SURE you strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a paper towel or coffee filter. There was a lot a grit I got rid of, and it would be tragic to ruin this soup with grit. Even after straining, there was a small amount of grit, but I think that must just come with the dried wild mushroom territory.*

Earthy porcini mushrooms are excellently paired with red-skinned potato. Heidi is right about the salt—it's important to add enough that the flavors really shine; since there are so few ingredients, the salt helps everything taste its best. With a hunk of baguette with garlicky olive oil and a glass of crisp white wine {I've been enjoying Three Thieves Bandit pinot grigio—don't let the box fool's fantastic.} it was a perfect, light supper. And I'm not going to I was putting away the leftovers, I stood over the pot with some toasted baguette and sopped up more of the broth and ate it right there in the middle of the kitchen. Ah, the joys of eating alone...

P.S. My soup looked just like Heidi's pictures. But my pictures...not so much. Hers do this soup much better justice!

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