It's no secret that The Pioneer Woman's recipes are in my RSS feeds. I don't want to miss a recipe! Ree featured a Mushroom Soup that was spotted on her own Recipe Website called "Tasty Kitchen". I had just stocked up on cremini mushrooms at Costco-- about 3 pounds of them, that were such a good bargain. I figured I'd make something out of them! The following day, my sniffles turned into a full-blown cold that rendered my ability to taste and smell pretty into a dead zone. Here it was, Super Bowl Sunday, and I was honking around the house with a tissue box nestled closed to me. I wanted-- no-- I needed soup! But, I couldn't really taste much! You won't find a single can of commercially made soup in my pantry; I just think that homemade soup is super easy to make. Yes, I do buy boxed chicken, vegetable and beef stock, and buy low-sodium stocks, because I want to season soups my way. When I can, I make my own chicken stock and freeze it-- which reminds me, it's time to "stock up" again. Sorry.
When making soup, I typically start with olive oil, onion (in this case, shallots), carrots and celery. Since I was feeling lousy, I used the food processor to chop the veggies for me. Of course, I needed mushrooms, which I washed and sliced-- about 2 pounds-- they'll reduce. In a cast-iron skillet, I heated the oil and began to saute' the shallots. I chose shallots for two reasons-- I had a lot of them, and I like their mild and sweet flavor that doesn't over power the flavor of the soup. Then again, my sense of smell was seriously damaged. I wanted heat! That's when I grabbed a jar of Thai Red Curry paste!
So, here is where the Pioneer Woman and I parted ways, and I ended up adapting the recipe to satisfy my sudden craving for Thai flavors. . I'm very much in the beginner stages of learning how to cook Thai food, and I have learned to love it a lot. My favorite flavors of Thai food includes lemongrass (which I didn't use in this soup), red curry, lime juice, coconut and cilantro. I added about 1 teaspoon of the red curry paste-- this stuff can be hot! Ree's recipe called for white wine. I used Dry Vermouth, because it's a fortified wine and it's perfect for cooking. I added a generous splash-- oh, about 1/4 cup. Leave it out, if you want. The alcohol does burn off.
Now, while the veggies and aromatics are coming together, I started sauteing the mushrooms with some olive oil...
I had used 1/2 can of coconut milk for a recipe that I haven't blogged yet (I'm totally posting out of sequence). I decided to add this to the veggies, to flavor the soup with coconut-- I was totally experimenting at this point.
I gave the coconut milk a stir. P-Dub's soup had tomato juice in it. I deliberated, and decided to go ahead and add that. Then, I added the mushrooms to the soup.
Now that the cooked mushrooms are stirred in, I added chicken stock (you could use vegetable stock to make this truly a vegetarian soup). I added two bay leaves and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes. Last, I added about 1/2 cup of Half & Half (you could use heavy cream...or milk).
I prefer my soups on the thicker side. I keep a box of potato starch in my pantry. About 2 Tablespoons of potato starch (you can use corn starch), mixed in with some of the liquid and whisked, prevents risks of lumpy soup. I never add the starch directly to the soup! Off-heat, I added the juice of one lime. Ree adds Parmesan cheese to her soup, which definitely made my mouth water. But, somehow, that didn't see to go with my Thai theme...
The finishing touch was to add fresh chopped cilantro. If you don't like cilantro, then use flat-leaf parsley. Fortunately, cilantro is a favorite herb in my household-- and we even grow it!
Stuffy-nosed me took a first taste. Whoa! I could taste it! The red curry paste gives this soup a real kick! I liked it a lot.
TASTING NOTES: I asked my husband to help adjust the seasonings-- which would be salt. It needed a little more, he said. It's a healthy soup, and I believe that spice really helps clear the sinuses. You can cut back on the red curry paste, if you don't like to much heat. I would use sherry, next time, rather than white wine. For some reason, sherry compliments mushroom soup. When I make Golden Cream of Mushroom Soup, that's my choice for booze-- or, you can leave it out altogether. If you'd rather stick with Ree's original soup recipe, the link is here. In reading comments, though, I would have definitely added thyme to the soup. It's my favorite universal herb in soups.
I'm linking this soup to Souper Sundays, hosted by the lovely and very talented Deb at Kahakai Kitchen. I might have missed today's deadline (I forgot about the time change in Hawaii) for her weekly roundup of soups, stews, salads and sandwiches. It's a great place to find new recipes and to meet other bloggers.
You'll probably see this recipe on my Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman roundup, in another week.
It's Valentine's Day, and I'm so thankful to have a wonderful husband to share it with. Wishing all of you a day of "Love". I'm cooking up some "Love" for my husband tonight. You'll see it in a day or two!
With Love from my kitchen,