A minor glitch on the blogging front - I made a spur of the moment decision to drive to Portland to surprise my dad on his 87th birthday and ended up staying for a week. So when I got back there was plenty to catch up on with work and Thanksgiving preparations so I've not been keeping up here. But I have plenty to post and will try to get caught up.
On my last night in town I spent the night with my best friend. We've known each other since we were four years old (which sounds less frightening than saying we've been friends for 42 years). It was her husband's birthday so I helped her with the birthday dinner - she had a great menu planned. The soup was one they'd had on a cruise and her mission was to recreate this dish that had been a favorite of her husband's. She found a local bakery to make the oregano bread bowls which were amazing. Definitely worth the effort to find or make yourself as the flavor really enhanced the soup (which was delicious).
Cream of Forest Mushroom Soup
1 ounce dried morels, or 2 ounces fresh morels
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Portobello mushrooms, finely sliced
2 ounces white mushrooms
3 ounces fresh porcini mushrooms, finely sliced
3 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups no-chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
leaves from one fresh thyme sprig, minced
leaves from one fresh oregano sprig, minced
2 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 6-inch round bread loaves (preferably oregano bread)
If using dried morels, wash the caps and soak them in warm water to cover for 10 minutes.
Remove the stems and discard them. Cut small morels in half and large ones into three or four pieces.
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute all the mushrooms for about three minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the wine, and cook to reduce the liquid by half. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer the soup for about 25 minutes. In a blender or food processor, puree half the soup until very smooth. Return the puree to the pan. Stir in the parsley, thyme, oregano, and basil and cook for about 2 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm.
2. Preheat the oven to 200. Cut off the top of each bread loaf. With a large spoon, remove the soft inner part of the bread. Place the loaves on a baking pan and warm in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove the warm bread loaves from the oven and pour the hot soup into the bread cups. Garnish with rosemary and sprigs and serve.
Happy Birthday Dad!
me, my dad and my BFF