All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Mushroom Velouté with(out) Almonds

Psyched up from the success of the salsa and the chicken, I wanted to try out the mushroom soup recipe from Fast Food My Way. I have never made pureed soup before, but after seeing soups made this way on various shows, I decided to check out this type of soup. The recipe looked very tempting, and I thought it was something Wid's parents might enjoy.

It was amazing how much shallots and mushrooms (button and wood ear) were needed for this soup. The shallots and garlic were browned in butter and then a bit of flour was added to the mixture before stock and mushrooms were added. Once the soup has been cooked for about half an hour, I tasted the soup and found it to be bland. I then realized that our chicken stock is homemade (and also contained no salt). It's amazing how a bit of salt really brings out the flavor of dishes, yet when too much salt is added, the dish becomes inedible. I then used the blender to puree the soup. Heavy cream was added to the soup before the whole mixture was boiled again. To serve the soup, I laddled generous portion onto a bowl. For garnish, I drizzled a bit of the cream and placed a bit of the chopped wood ear mushroom in the center of the bowl. The recipe suggested adding some almonds, but since I'm not sure where to find good almonds here, I had to omit it this time. Fresh French bread and a simple green salad rounded out the rest of the lunch menu.

I really liked the idea of using shallots and wood ears to enhance the flavor of the soup. I was pleasantly surprised about using wood ears (木耳) because it's known more in Chinese cooking than western cooking. It gave a good flavor and crunch to the soup.

Wid's parents thought the soup was excellent and it was even better than the mushroom soup from one of our favorite restaurants (too earthy). I think now Wid's mom is so confident about my ability in soup making even though all I did was follow a recipe, she wants me to tackle New England clam chowder.

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