Monday, October 14, 2013

Portabella Mushroom Soup and Settling back in

Good grief, Susan.  Are you really thinking of writing a post for your long neglected blog?  This is the conversation that has been going on in my head for the last week.  I am back home after being gone since mid June.  I am once again in comfortable, familiar surroundings, so it is easier to write.

We had a wonderful summer.  We visited with both daughters and their families while going north and then on the trip back home in September.  It is always good to see how our children and grandchildren are changing and growing.  Our oldest daughter has moved into a new home with her family.  It is always comforting to see a goal reached, an accomplishment achieved.  On the return trip south, visiting our other daughter and family, we were able to attend the baptism of our oldest grandchildren, Noah 16 and Josiah 14.  That was a blessing as these boys have grown into young men and have made this commitment on their own.

We also stopped in Iowa to see family and friends and I attended my 50th class reunion.  It was the best reunion ever.  We are finally old enough to enjoy each other, much the same when the majority of us started kindergarten together back in 1950.

We had our own "Field of Dreams," right here in the heartland of Iowa.

We also had a stop in Des Moines to see The Trout's sister.  That visit was a long time coming, but we are so glad we got to see Vera, niece Julia and her husband, and cousin Jenny.

We reached our travel trailer in Montana, unpacked, set up and then we headed further west.  To Oregon.  How I love that state.  We have not been there for quite a few years, but this time we had some real goals in mind.

So now, it is time to get into the kitchen again---not the tiny travel trailer kitchen, but a kitchen where I have all I need within reach and lots of room.  First on the menu--Portabella Mushroom Soup.

This soup has been a favorite of ours for a long time.  The problem is that I do not make it often enough.  I do not even remember where the recipe came from, but I am guessing Bon Appetit because that was always the bible for cooking in years past.

Portabella Mushroom Soup

1/4 cup unsalted butter
5 leeks, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 medium onion, chopped
10 oz. Portabella mushrooms (4 cups)
1/4 cup flour
3 cups chicken stock
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 tablespoons dry sherry
2 cups half and half
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Ground white or black pepper
Salt to taste

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add leeks, onions and sauté 10 minutes.  Add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes.  Reduce to low.  Add flour and cook until thick.  Gradually stir in stock and 2 tablespoons sherry.  Add thyme.  Reduce and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in half and half.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in pepper and remaining sherry.  Bring to a simmer and serve.  Serves 6-8

This soup is absolutely delicious.  I have an immersion blender, but we decided to not blend it, but enjoy the leeks, onions and mushrooms as they are.  I also used nice sized baby bellas that I picked up at Costco.  They seem to work better since they do not have so much of the black gills as the larger portabellas do.   Add some crusty bread and it is absolutely lovely.  Wish you were here.