Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Carmelized Onion and Mushroom Soup

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living Magazine and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

Dried porcini mushrooms are an expensive ingredient, however, a little goes a long way. I bought one package of dried porcini mushrooms at Lost River Market & Deli and was able to use the one package for three different recipes, including this one. This soup is delicious and when you serve it with shredded cheese on top, a loaf of good quality bread (I served it with Scholar's Inn Bakery Rosemary Olive Bread, available at Lost River Market & Deli) and a nice bottle of wine, it’s elegant enough for company.

½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms
6 oz. orzo
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 onions, cut into ½ inch dice
1 shallot, cut into ½ inch dice
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
¾ lbs. cremini mushrooms (remove stems & discard) cut into ½ inch dice
2 Tablespoons Madeira wine or cream sherry (Do not use cooking wine.)
4 (14.5 oz.) cans low sodium beef stock (I used Homemade Beef Stock-recipe on this blog.)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Gruyere cheese, shredded (optional—parmesan cheese would be a good substitute.)

Place porcini in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water. Let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from liquid. Finely chop and set aside. Strain liquid through a coffee filter or cheese cloth, discarding grit. Set aside liquid.
Place orzo in a large pot over medium low heat. Toast, stirring constantly until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Remove orzo from pot and set aside.Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add toasted orzo and cook until al dente, 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.Warm olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onions, shallots and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and golden brown, about 50 minutes. Add cremini mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms have softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add Madeira or cream sherry. Cook 1 minute more. Add reserved porcini, reserved strained liquid, beef stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add reserved pasta and continue to cook until pasta is heated through, about 2 minutes more.
Serve garnished with parsley and cheese.

Per serving: 139 calories; 2 grams fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 25 grams carbohydrates; 877 mg sodium; 4 grams protein; 3 grams fiber

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