Sunday, December 9, 2018

Ruth Reichl's Creamy Mushroom Soup, Kitchen Therapy for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This simple soup is from Ruth Reichl's memoir Comfort Me With Apples and she mentions in the book that she made it daily to get her through hard times as it was the most soothing soup she could make. I find most soups to be a good form of therapy--both making them and eating them, and a pot of mushroom soup is the perfect comfort on a cool day.


I made a few changes to the recipe, swapping the half and half for coconut milk because I have several cans on hand and it's better than dairy on my breathing. I also swapped the beef broth for mushroom bouillon cubes and water. Because I bought some huge white mushrooms and wasn't sure how flavorful they would be. Finally, I used smoked paprika instead of nutmeg because I am just not a nutmeg fan. My changes are in red below. 


Creamy Mushroom Soup
Slightly Adapted from Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl
(Serves 4)

1/2 lb mushrooms
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 small onion, diced
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup broth (I used 2 mushroom broth bouillon cubes)
2 cups half & half (I used coconut milk)
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I used 1/2 tsp smoked paprika)
1 bay leaf

Thinly slice the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a heavy pan. When the foam subsides, add the onion and saute until golden. Add the mushrooms and saute until brown and softened. Stir in the flour, then slowly add the broth, stirring constantly.

Heat the half & half (or coconut milk) in a saucepan or in the microwave. Add it to the mushrooms along with salt, pepper, nutmeg and a bay leaf. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes; do not boil. Remove the bay leaf and serve. 


Notes/Results: Simple in ingredients and process, but a very tasty soup that is the perfect comfort food on a cool day. I imagine it would be perfect for a cold day too but we don't get those very often here so a windy cool day will have to do. I loved all of the flavor from the mushrooms, the extra mushroom bouillon cube, and the smoked paprika. The coconut milk is as creamy as half and half and with the butter, make this soup rich and satisfying. I topped my soup with crisp garlic and pepper fried onions. Yum. Although I won't make it every day, I will happily eat this soup for lunches this week and would make it again. 


Linking this soup up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where the theme is Kitchen Therapy--Ruth Reichl dishes that are therapeutic to make or eat. 

 
I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Now let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Potato Soup with Carrots, Onions & Garlic and said, "Two weeks ago I posted a Potato Soup that was hearty and delicious, but not homemade. I haven't been able to duplicate that recipe exactly but I did whip up a pot of homemade soup for the cold work week. Not sure why we can't get heat at work but I can combat the chill with a hot bowl of comfort food."



Kim of Stirring the Pot made Ruth Reichl's Lentil, Sausage and Brown Rice Stew, saying "This stew lends itself perfectly to kitchen therapy as I sliced, chopped, stirred, and smelled my way to happiness. Not to mention, I was even more satisfied at the chance to use up an abundance of brown rice and lentils I found languishing about in my pantry. I always feel quite accomplished when I use up all the bits and bobs laying about. This is a soul-soothing wintry stew that comes together with humble ingredients and love. I'm convinced it holds the power to heal whatever ails you."


Thanks to Tina and Kim for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).



Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Simple Tortelloni-Tomato Soup with Spinach and Pesto for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

There are Sundays when soup making is a long, relaxed, meditative process and I enjoy all of the chopping and simmering while listening to an audio book. Then there are times like this week where I just want a minimum amount of effort and time in the kitchen. 


I first used jarred pasta sauce as a soup base when I made Nigella Lawson's Tomato Rice Soup and since pasta sauce, tortelloni, boxed baby spinach and pesto were all on sale at my local grocery store, I combined them in this easy and tasty Tortelloni-Tomato Soup with Spinach and Pesto.


Tortelloni-Tomato Soup with Spinach and Pesto
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 4-6)

1 jar good tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
4 cups water, veggie broth or a mixture
4 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 (20 oz) family pack of tortelloni (I used this one)
pesto & pecorino-romano cheese to garnish

Pour the tomato sauce into a large heavy-bottom pan and heat ove medium. Stir in the garlic, basil, celery seed, red pepper flakes and water. Let cook on medium-low for 10-15 minutes for flavors to meld.  

Turn up heat to medium high and when soup is starting to boil, add the tortelloni and spinach and cook for 5 minutes, until tortelloni is done. 

Serve hot with pesto drizzled on top and cheese shavings, Enjoy!


Notes Results: The simplest of soups to make (unless you drop a jar of pasta sauce straight down to the floor in the kitchen where it promptly shatters, sprays pasta sauce everywhere, cuts your leg with the flying shards of glass and it doesn't stop bleeding for 20 minutes. But I'm sure you won't do that and so I repeat--it's very quick and simple) and really good for the scant amount of effort required. I used mock-chicken stock and a few extra spices to give more dept of flavor and enjoyed the fat cheesy pasta bites in the tomato sauce. tasty and satisfying, I would make it again.
 

 Now let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Soupy Jambalaya and said, "When it gets chilly I like a bowl of comfort food. This is a hearty soupy version of Jambalaya. It's loaded with protein, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. ... The longer it simmers the better it is.  As a matter of fact, I may start making this the day before and then saving it until the next day so all the flavors mingle overnight. This time I used vegetable broth as there was enough of the chicken and sausage fats to thicken things up. You can add rice as it cooks or serve separately and spoon the mixture over the rice.  That way you can control the amount of rice you want."



From her Weekend Cooking event, Beth Fish Reads shared a recipe for a healthy Quinoa Salad Bento from a cookbook she recently reviewed and said, "Here's the Quinoa Salad Bento from Simply Bento. In the photo (from the book), you'll see that the authors added rotisserie chicken to the bento box, but I think this would be good without the meat. The authors note that this salad will keep for a few days, so you could make it on Sunday for the work or school week to come." 


Thanks for joining in this week!


About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).
 



Have a happy, healthy week!