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This soup has so many star ingredients standing elbow-to-elbow that it’s a miracle they all get along. I made it by accident the first time and, because I used a food processor instead of an immersion blender, made a huge mess in the kitchen. But I won’t show you those pictures.

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There are really four components to this soup: (1) onions and peppers, sautéed; (2) mulled wine, reduced; (3) reconstituted porcini mushrooms and the resulting mushroom broth; and (4) coconut milk. You prepare the first three components separately, and then combine them with the fourth component. A quick turn with an immersion blender, and voila!

You can thin it out with coconut milk (or broth/ stock) to make it a soup. You can thicken it by heating it, to create a sauce. You can pour this over roasted cauliflower, or serve it with sausage, or pour a bit over a steak, or mix it into your carb of choice (rice, pasta, potatoes).

Complicated? Maybe a little.
Delicious? Oh god, yes.
Will I make it again? Yes. Yes, I will.

Ingredients:

1 bottle of decent red wine
A handful of mulling spices, in a bag fashioned out of cheesecloth
4 – 5T of fat (bacon fat or coconut oil)
2 onions (and a few scallion whites if you want), thinly sliced
1 large red pepper, diced
dried porcini mushrooms, about 5 oz.
Coconut milk, with coconut cream on top

Other things
3 medium-sized saucepots and 1 immersion blender

Method:

  1. In Pot #1: Pour in wine and add bag of spices. Boil till reduced to about a cup. Remove spice bag and discard.
  2. In Pot #2: Heat fat of choice. Add onions and scallions. Saute till softened, stirring only occasionally. Add red peppers. Saute till softened, stirring only occasionally. Transfer solids to Pot #1. Leave excess fat in pot.
  3. In Pot #3 or a bowl: Soak mushrooms for 20 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to Pot #1. Strain soaking liquid through cheesecloth or coffee filter to remove dirt.
  4. Heat Pot #1. Add in reconstituted mushrooms and cook through. Transfer mushrooms to the mulled wine reduction in Pot #1. Make sure Pot #2 is hot; pour in strained mushroom broth from Step 3 and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the fond (the burnt bits at the bottom). Pour the whole thing into Pot#1.
  5. Use an immersion blender to puree the contents of Pot #1. Add coconut water to thin (if making a soup); or heat gently to thicken (if making a sauce).
  6. When the consistency makes you happy, stir in coconut cream by tablespoons-full. You can use the immersion blender here. Taste; season with salt and pepper.
  7. Garnish with scallions, or a sprinkling of finely diced fresh red pepper, or a bit of bacon, or a few dots of coconut cream… or some combination of these. Serve alongside crusty, toasted bread, or mashed potatoes, or a green salad.
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