Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mushroom Moderate

I spent the entire weekend in the kitchen (nearly). Starting yesterday morning, I made, banana bread, oatmeal, the filling for samosas, two vegetarian moussaka casseroles, grilled cheese & soup for The Southerner's lunch, today's soup, and a loaf of bread. Today I finished the bread, the samosas (yum!), and taught The Southerner how to make 8 Grain Cereal. It was my choice to be in the kitchen so long, and it was fun, but I'm looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow!

On Saturday morning I still had not chosen a soup, so I got out an old library discard, The Low-fat Vegetarian Cookbook, that I picked up at the library book sale. What's hilarious about this book is that it says it's vegetarian, but when you open it up, there are all these recipes called "almost vegetarian" that have meat in them! No wonder the library discarded it.

Anyway, there are a few soups in it and one of them was Mushroom Barley. I had the ingredients (or so I thought, The Southerner ended up having to go to the store for barley right about the time I was ready to add it!). This soup is a brothy soup with a lot of mushrooms. And I mean a lot. I cut them really thinly because I once had a mushroom soup with them cut paper thin and it was really good. The soup was a big hit today, but it crossed a line for me and so I didn't have any.

You see, it wasn't until maybe five years I tentatively began to eat mushrooms. I learned how to cook them from Alton Brown and suddenly, they were pretty appealing. The more I have them, the more I like them. However, this soup, with a pound and a half of mushrooms, cooked in a vegetable broth that eventually became a deep, rich, brown, mushroomy broth really fell just across the line of "too many mushrooms in one dish". Luckily, The Southerner LOVED it, and judging by how our guests emptied the crockpot, I think overall it was a good soup. One guest even asked for the recipe. Which oddly enough, might be the very first recipe that I have followed exactly! Well, except that I used homemade vegetable stock instead of junk from a can.

Anyway, we had a very nice Sunday Soup. A few regulars, one guest we haven't seen since summer, some newbies...very nice. And we started it off with a Tea Party. We tested the mango tea (a previous SS favourite), vanilla jasmine, maple, and green. I think that the mango is still on top, although the vanilla jasmine was met with interest and smiles. I alone like the maple (I drink it every day).

And that's about it. And Grandma, I know you're reading this each week and are always hoping that I'm freezing you the soup to bring you when we come to visit. Don't worry, I am. But I also know not to save you any Mushroom Barley! Like Grandma, like Granddaughter, eh?

Eat well!

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