Rustic Mushroom Soup with Prawns


Here is a dish with two of my favorite ingredients. I made it for my lunch the other day.  Often, I don't know what to cook.  I cook almost everyday, at least twice a day, but now and then I am totally lost. Sometimes I just don't have the inspiration for a menu.  That is when I find myself almost always making some kind of soup.  I love soup. Who doesn't love soup.  Soup is genius.

I eat a lot of leftovers for lunch.  But I don't always like to eat the same thing from the evening before.  It gets to be so boring.  So I give it a little twist and make them into soup.  You can do this with lots of different vegetable dishes.  Any roasted veggies, seafood, meat... Anything can be put in a soup and it can turn into an exciting meal.   

This time, I had some portobello mushrooms cooked with white wine sitting in the fridge.  I chopped some onions, celery and sautéed them.  Then I added some chicken broth, cream, left over mushrooms and a few chanterelles we harvested last year.   I simmered it for 15 minutes and then blended it together until it was smooth.  Then I poached some frozen prawns and added into the soup, which only took a few minutes. 

This was a very satisfying lunch and I only spent about 20 minutes making it.  

A little note. A short time ago I went to this amazing wheat research facility called Bread Lab in Mt. Vernon, North of Seattle.  I took photos for a book that was soon published in Japan called Bread Lab (the editors were so impressed by the place that they named the book after the facility).  Some images I took for the shoot will also be published in print and online for DIE ZEIT in Germany in their next issue.  Bread Lab is operated by Dr. Steve Jones under Washington State University and their research is focused on the growth and usage of local wheats  for culinary creations. They also grow 40,000 different kinds of wheat from all around the world for their research.  If you are interested in being educated about everything related to wheat and also what's happening with this gluten intolerance syndrome around the world, you will find more cutting edge information here.  

Recipe: 3 to 4 servings

2 medium size portobello mushrooms
3 large chanterelle  mushrooms
1 medium onion sliced
3 stems celery chopped
2 garlic cloves minced 
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream or 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
2-3 stems fresh oregano chopped
 a hand handful Italian parsley chopped
a few stems chives and chive flowers (optional)
salt and pepper

10 medium size prawns 

Cut the mushrooms in cubes or one-bite size.  Chop garlic, onions, celery, Italian parsley and set them aside. Heat up a medium size pan at medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter.  Add all the chopped vegetables and sauté until they start to sweat.  Add mushrooms, some salt and pepper, and then white wine.  Add herbs and mix and simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.  Take it off the heat add chicken broth and heavy cream.  Mix in blender until smooth.  Put soup back in pan and heat up.  Adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

I used frozen prawns that I thawed over night in the fridge. Bring the water to boil with a pinch of salt in a small pot for a couple of minutes.  Drain the water and set the prawns aside.  

Pour the soup in a bowl, garnish with some finally chopped chive, chive flowers, extra virgin olive oil, and cream.  Serve with garlicy cheesy slices of bread : )


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