it's okay to play with your food

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sausage and Mushroom Soup

Last Friday was another dinner at Mike's. He took the lead with an entree of squid in red wine with lentils while Mary made dessert. The only appropriate addition in chilly, rainy weather of the sort we'd been having was to cook up a soup. And something in the mushroom barley family seemed perfect.

My "mind mouth" was working overtime on Friday. My mind mouth is what I call it when I'm putting together a recipe and mentally tasting things to see how they will work together. I looked through a bunch of recipes to get a general sense of how mushroom soups work: use dry and fresh mushrooms, carrots and celery are great
(leeks are a good addition too), wine and sherry are often incorporated in the broth. I decided to use three types of mushrooms, two fresh and 1 dry variety, add a beef sausage, and use a flavorful beer for the broth. No barley because I couldn't find any in the shops along the Italian Market area and didn't have the wherewithal to walk to the Acme in the rain.

And... it was pretty awesome.

But still no camera cord, so no pics. Pout.

UPDATE: Camera cord has been found, obvs...

Sausage and Mushroom Soup

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for about 20 minutes
1 large onion, diced
1 lb. button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
Soy sauce, about two tbls. or to taste
A few tablespoons of water
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 carrots, sliced in rounds
2 celery ribs, sliced
Sprigs of fresh thyme and chopped fresh sage (in about a 2:1 proportion)
1 lb. beef sausage
12-16 ounces beer (I used Yuengling's Black and Tan)
6 cups chicken broth
A lot of freshly ground pepper (Add salt depending on how salty the broth is. The boullion I used was super salty, so I didn't add any more)
Fresh parsley, chopped

In a pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the onions for about 6 minutes or till golden. Add the mushrooms, soy sauce and some water. Cook down till all liquid is absorbed. Add more liquid if it's getting too dry before the mushrooms seemed thoroughly cooked.

In another pan, melt more butter over medium high heat. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and bit more water. After about 5 minutes, add the fresh herbs. Let cook together for about another 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Brown sausage in the soup pot. I had a 1 lb. rope so I browned it in longer sections, chopped them up smaller, browned them some more, then chopped them up one more time into thinnish slices. Remove the fat and deglaze the pot with about half a cup of beer. Combine the sausage, vegetables, more beer and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for about half an hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve with a garnish of fresh parsley.

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