Thursday, October 15, 2009

chanterelle mushroom & leek soup

I've been feeling a little under the weather this week which always makes me want to eat soup. Lots and lots of soup. Thankfully I have an awesome roommate who also likes to cook. And thankfully she made some amazing soup this week. The result was so amazing that I decided I needed to write about it, even if I didn't cook it myself.

The soup kick was actually less a result of me contracting the swine flu (kidding...) and more a result of scoring a grocery bag full of some beautiful chanterelle mushrooms. I first learned about chanterelles while reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. The author, while seeking out the sources of the foods he eats, stumbles upon a chanterelle mushroom in his backyard. Unable to identify it, he ends up tossing it only to find out later that it was indeed the real deal and not a poisonous look-alike. Fortunately we had nothing to worry about since our bag of mushrooms came to us from a skilled mushroom hunter; one I hope my roommate remains in touch with for completely selfish reasons.

After some debate and the mushrooms staring at us from the countertop for a few days, we decided soup was the way to go with quantity of shrooms we had. Below is the recipe my roommate decided to try and I have to say, it was absolutely delicious! Enjoy!

chanterelle mushroom & leek soup

3 tbl butter
3 tbl olive oil
1/2 lb potatoes, skin on, but into 1/4 pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs chanterelle mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp towel, stems trimmed
1 c sweet onion, copped
1 leek, washed well and sliced
1/4 cup white wine
7 c chicken broth
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
3 tbl fresh parsley
salt & pepper
1c half and half
2 tbl flour

Heat olive oil and butter in a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium - high heat. Add potatoes, cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chanterelles, onions and leeks and cook for 5 minutes, while stirring frequently. Add white wine and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes. Pour in chicken stock, chili flakes, parsley, salt and pepper and stir. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Puree approximately 3 cups of soup in a food processor or blender. Return pureed soup to pot. In a small bowl, whisk flour with half and half until well blended. Pour into soup pot and continue to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

veggie burgers & beet chips

Between weddings, birthday extravaganzas, and just general fun I have been enjoying quite a few three day weekends this summer. This past weekend was no exception. Only this time I actually got to stay home and enjoy Seattle in its beautiful fall glory. Friday was spent reconnecting with some of my favorite people and Saturday wound down with some quality house sitting which included truffle popcorn (something for a later post maybe?) and movies on a GIANT boy TV.

By the time Sunday rolled around I was ready to get into the kitchen and a had a fridge full of veggies just waiting there for me. I also had a recipe for veggie burgers that had been calling my name. I decided it was finally the day. Especially since I could try my hand at beet chips again for a side (I totally burnt my first batch).  Here's a peek at what went down if you want to give it a try! Enjoy!

veggie burgers

While shredding veggies via an old fashioned grater is no fun, it is worth it.

4 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, shredded
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 small summer squash, shredded
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1 egg, beaten
1 tbl soy sauce
1/3 c plain or seasoned breadcrumbs
1 1/2 c all purpose flour

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in the carrots, zucchini and squash and continue to cook and stir for another 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Mix in cheese, oats and egg. Stir in soy sauce. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.

1 hour later...

Place flour on a large plate. Add breadcrumbs to cooled mixture and mix with hands. Form the veggie mixture into 3" to 4" patties. Drop each patty into the flour lightly coating both sides. Cook patties in remaining 2 tsp of olive oil over med high heat about 5 minutes in each side, until heated through and nicely browned. Serve immediately.

beet chips
Now, the first time I tried to make these, I fried a crisp and not in a good way. Slice the beets as thinly as possible to ensure they crisp and check them frequently as they bake.

2 medium to large red beets
2 to 3 tbl olive oil
sea salt
herbs de provence (or dried rosemary)

Preheat oven to 250. Peel beets with a vegetable peeler leaving stems on and thinly slice beets with a mandolin food slicer. Toss beet slices in a bowl with olive oil salt and pepper. Arrange beets in a single layer in a shallow glass baking dish. They can touch just don't overlap them too much. Sprinkle with herbs de provence (or rosemary). Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the chips have started to curl and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve immediately.