As the result of a totally new and completely unexpected bout with extremely painful TMJ dysfunction, I’ve been eating soup. A lot of soup. More soup than I ever thought I’d eat in a month. My jaw pain has completely stopped me from being able to do food related things like, you know, chewing. And biting. With luck, the oral surgeon that I’m seeing tomorrow will be able to do something to fix it. Meanwhile…soup.
In my forays through every cream soup recipe I own, I have distilled my likes down to two in particular–Szechuan Carrot Soup, and Mushroom Parsley Soup. I have just finished a small vat of the carrot soup so I’m a little tired of it at the moment, but this mushroom soup is on its second batch. And I still have enough for tomorrow.
I came up with this recipe on my own, and I modestly believe it is the best soup I’ve ever eaten. With all those mushrooms, it’s a real umami feast.
Mushroom Parsley Soup
(serves 2 as a main dish)
1 leek, sliced
1/2 medium onion, sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 large bunch parsley, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add leeks and onion and cook until soft. Add mushrooms. Cook together for about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes.
Add grated peel of the lemon and all of its juice, and parsley and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Blend with a stick blender, blender, or food processor. Add salt and black pepper to taste. If soup is too thick, thin with chicken stock, milk, or cream to taste.
Szechuan Carrot Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
a 3/4-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and sliced thin
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 cup coconut milk
Garnish: 1/4 cup sour cream mixed with 2 tablespoons heavy cream
In a large heavy saucepan cook onion, celery, and garlic in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until onion is softened. Add carrots, gingerroot, red pepper flakes, and broth and simmer, covered, until carrots are very tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and in a blender purée mixture in batches (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return soup to pan and heat over low heat until hot, being careful not to let boil.
Serve soup drizzled decoratively with sour cream mixture.
For both of these soups, I use my stick blender and puree them right in the saucepan they cook in. Very handy, and no blender to clean up.