Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spring Mushroom & Bacon Soup

I should start by saying that describing this soup as good doesn’t begin to cover it. Is it really good? Not quite. How about one of the best soups I’ve ever eaten and worthy of having crispy golden bread made just for the joy of dipping in it? Yep, that’s getting closer.

I saw this recipe a week or so ago while my mom was visiting. We had a small amount of Italian leftovers from the night before, but not quite enough to round out a meal. When I texted my mom to tell her I’d fix some soup to go with our leftovers, she replied with the expected response of “I’ll grab some bread from Panera.” I’m a firm believer that when someone tells you they are making good soup, it is probably proper etiquette to respond that you’ll bring Panera bread.

After reading the ingredient list for this soup, I couldn’t resist making it that very night. The recipe I used called it “Spring Mushroom Soup with Aromatic Vegetables,” but I don’t know if that name quite covers it. However, I’m not sure I can really think of anything more descriptive.

Spring Mushroom Soup with Aromatic Vegetables
Recipe from Dishing the Devine

6 slices bacon
2 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 lb quartered cremini mushrooms
2 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 stalks fresh asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a large cast iron or other deep skillet, cook bacon until browned on both sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and let cool. Remove excess bacon grease and reserve for another purpose.

Add butter or vegetable oil to the skillet and cook until hot. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring continuously, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms release their liquid and have begun to brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Cut the bacon into small pieces and add to the mixture.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and stir until it makes a paste, about 1 minute. Add the stock, thyme and pepper and stir to combine.

Bring the soup to a full boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a separate skillet, cook the asparagus in some of the reserved bacon grease or vegetable oil until browned and slightly softened. Add the asparagus to the soup and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and add the cream. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

After smelling this soup simmer and taking our first bite, we completely forgot about the leftovers.

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