by guest blogger, Martine Bertin-Peterson,
As the weather gets cooler, my go-to dinner is often a hearty soup and a winter salad.
Sturdy vegetables available in the late fall and winter such as squash, root vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower often combined with dried legumes and mushrooms lend themselves to a slow simmer on the stove top.
Making soup is a satisfying Sunday afternoon activity. The cook is rewarded with a big pot of soup that can also be enjoyed throughout the week when schedules are hectic and less time is available.
This mushroom bisque uses a variety of wild mushrooms and dried porcini to enhance its earthy flavor. Wild mushrooms and dried porcini are available at farmers markets throughout the season and at most supermarkets.
The bisque is easy to prepare and comes together in less than 1 hour. Consider serving it with a winter salad of endive, pears and walnuts and a loaf of crusty bread.
Goût et Voyage Wild Mushroom Bisque
12 oz assorted mushrooms, sliced – cremini, button, morel, shitake, etc.
2 oz dried porcini
1 large shallot, finely chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (homemade is best, but canned low-sodium works, too)
2 TBSP chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
2 TBSP olive oil
Crème fraiche or sour cream
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Pour boiling water to cover the dried porcini and allow them to soak for 15 minutes or until soft.
- In a large pot, sweat the chopped shallot in the olive oil until soft.
- Drain and rough chop the softened porcini mushrooms, tossing any foreign or hard bits but saving the liquid.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and porcini to the pot and saute for 3 minutes. Add the chicken or vegetable stock, the reserved porcini liquid and the chopped thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the flame and cook gently for 30 minutes until all mushrooms are soft.
- Using a hand blender, puree the soup to desired consistency. I like to leave a few small chunks of mushroom, but you may prefer your soup smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Ladle soup into individual bowls, top with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream, and a sprig of fresh thyme if desired, and serve immediately.
- Serves 4-6 as a main course or 6-8 as a starter.
Martine Bertin-Peterson has the best of both worlds. She organizes amazing culinary trips to France, focusing on food and wine, and she teaches how to make simple, Mediterranean-inspired dishes in her cooking classes here in Bucks County. You can also get more delicious recipes on her blog, Bucks County Foodie.