Food: Jazzing up my soup

Last Saturday I went to a mushroom festival in Pennsylvania. It was fantastic! Full of delicious treats and inexpensive and unusual varieties of mushrooms. I brought three pounds of ‘shrooms home and turned 1 lb into bisque, as well as 2 lb into Duxelles*.

When you’re one person having one bowl of soup for dinner, mushroom bisque lasts all week. I don’t know about you, but I need to jazz it up here and there so it doesn’t taste the same every night.

1. I had a bottle of marinated goat cheese balls that I got from a farmer’s market. It added more olive oil than I might have liked, but the sharpness of the goat cheese is divine!

2. If you have Duxelles* on hand, thaw one and use it to garnish your bowl of soup. Just mound it right in the middle. It’ll add some butter, but also a nice garnish of cooked-down mushrooms, which adds texture.

3. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on your soup, especially if you have some that’s infused with herbs, spice, or garlic.

4. Drizzle a little bit of vinegar on your soup.

5. Chop some roasted peppers and mound into the middle. Other vegetables might work as well, such as marinated artichoke hearts.

6. Chop and cook down bacon; drain on towels and sprinkle that bacon on top of your soup! Pancetta is another option, or sausage.

7. Shred or crumble a good cheese on top. Something sharp or smoky would probably go very well with a mushroom bisque.

Obviously, most of these suggestions will work well for other soups as well.

*Duxelles are what you get when you cook down chopped mushrooms with butter and garlic (I know it’s supposed to be shallots, but I prefer garlic) until dry, then freeze in ice cube trays and empty the frozen cubes into freezer bags. They’re supposed to last for up to three months that way and can be used for all sorts of things.

P.S.: If you want to try that wonderful mushroom bisque, it’s from “Thanksgiving Table” (Review)

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