French Frdays with Dorie

Friday, January 7, 2011

FFwD: Paris Mushroom Soup and Spiced Butter Glazed Carrots

Like Laurie I had a bit of trouble getting mushrooms this week.  I got them, that wasn't a problem.  The problem was they weren't the newest kids on the block.  I don't know if you are aware of it, but one of the signs of an older mushroom is that the gills just keep getting darker and darker.

In fact, here is one of the few produce facts I know, if you are purchasing mushrooms, you want to find ones that are totally tight to the stem.  The older the mushroom, the more the cap pulls away from the stem, the darker the flesh of the mushroom gets, and the gills get very very dark.

They still taste okay when the gills are a bit dark, but the moisture they eliminate is not especially pleasant to regard.  In fact, it will remind you quite a bit of watery mushroom soil.  This is, by the way, not something you generally want to contemplate eating!

However, I am accustomed to this and proceeded with my soup preparation, regardless of the color of my mushrooms' liquid waste.  I ended up with a soup that will never win any beauty contests.  It tasted okay, but I actually prefer my go to mushroom soup recipe.  That recipe is in the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook and for whatever reason, it always turns out fantastic for me. 

I am definitely going to give this soup another try - when I can get truly white - white mushrooms!  I prefer a lot of mushroom slices in my soup, so I pulled a few spoons-ful of sliced mushrooms out before I blended the soup.  I topped it with a dollop of sour cream, which proceeded to fall to the bottom of the bowl!  I forgot to pick up creme freche.  I remedied that today.

A few days ago I made the spiced butter glazed carrots.  Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables.  These were delightful.  I adore cardamom, so I was quite pleased to add it to my pan.  I like to cut carrots on the diagonal and then cut those slices into matchsticks.  I left these in the diagonal slice condition.  A few minutes later and I had tasty fragrant carrots.  I am quite enjoying these.  Encountering the small slivers of garlic is like finding the prize in the King cake.  Happiness.

02/08/2011: Update to the Paris Mushroom Soup: I found pristinely white mushrooms at the store yesterday.  So, I scooped them up and ran home to make this soup over again.  Just look at how much more appetizing last night's version of this gem was:

I made the salad in my bowl this time and was surprised by how much I enjoyed the green onions.  Normally I despise any form of raw onion, but it totally worked with this soup.  I am glad I gave it a second chance, the taste was so much better without the debris from the dirty mushroom gills.  I still prefer my cream of mushroom soup recipe from Good Housekeeping for cream of mushroom soup - but this is an excellent soup for the days when you want a lighter more springlike flavor.

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