Eating. Simply. [Cream of Mushroom Soup]

Every so often I need to be reminded. 

That food is to be enjoyed, each bite relished in - not rushed through so I can edit photos and start writing. Meals are to be made because you want them - not because it’s been thismany days since you posted a recipe with thiskind of ingredient. Food is a gift - not a given. This article was my reminder. And a thought-provoking, somewhat shameful one, at that.

Blogging, as many of my peers know, can be a daunting task at times. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the process of the planning, the cooking, the editing, the writing, the sharing… and somewhere in there the act of the eating gets lost. The simple pleasure of enjoying the meal just for the sake of enjoyment is a task I find myself pushing aside more and more often. To put the fork down and taste, really taste each bite fully - something I never thought I’d have to remind myself to do - is a practice in self-control. 

I’m trying to be better. To be more quiet and thoughtful in the presence of a meal. To appreciate the act of simply eating. And with that said, I’ll let todays simple, earthy mushroom soup speak for itself. 

Cream of Mushroom Soup
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1oz dried wild mushrooms 
3 cups hot water
¼ cup olive oil
3 sprigs of both thyme and sage, tied together
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced 
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced 
1 cup dry white wine
Salt & fresh ground pepper
3 cups organic or homemade beef stock
¼ cup table cream
2 tbsp. butter

Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover them with hot water for 30 minutes until plump. Remove the mushrooms and strain the mushroom water through a coffee filter set in a bowl to remove excess grit. Set mushrooms and soaking liquid aside. 

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and bundle of herbs. As the oil heats up the herbs will start to infuse it with flavour. After 2 minutes, add the onions. Cook until just starting to brown, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook for another minute. 

Turn the heat up to high and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes or until they have released all their moisture. They will shrink considerably.  Once browned, add the white wine and cook, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until reduced completely. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and their liquid, beef stock, a few pinches of salt and pepper and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.  Remove the herbs and stir in the cream and butter. Using a blender (or immersion blender), puree until smooth
 and serve with a drizzle of good olive oil, fresh thyme leaves and crusty bread. 


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