Cream of Roasted Mushroom Turkey soup

serving cream of mushroom soupOne of my comfort foods as a young woman was Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup over noodles. This post-Thanksgiving soup brings it up a quite few notches with roasted Cremini mushrooms. These earthy brown mushrooms, also known as baby bellas, are the middle child between the common white mushroom and the mature portobellos. I  add a large portobello and some shiitake mushrooms and a few pungent chanterelle and porcini mushrooms for extra savory umami flavor. I mix dried mushrooms with fresh, depending what’s in my pantry.

I used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving for the broth.

This soup takes a couple of days to make. Make the broth the first day. You can also roast the mushrooms the first day, or wait until the second day.

Makes about 8 bowls of soup

Ingredients:

1 turkey carcass with accompanying herbs, vegetables and drippings

about 16 cups of water (1 gallon)

1 pound cremini mushrooms

1 large portobello mushroom

5 shiitake mushrooms (fresh or dried)

3 medium-large chanterelle mushrooms (fresh or dried)

5 dried porcini mushrooms

4 Tb olive oil, divided

1 shallot

About 1/2 cup leftover turkey gravy

3 handfuls (4 ounces) of egg noodles

1/2 cup cream, half and half or milk depending on the amount of richness and calories you desire.

several grinds black pepper

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 – 2 tsp salt to taste (I use sea salt)

8 oz (1/2 pound) frozen peas

Make a turkey broth using the skin and carcass of the Thanksgiving turkey and the accompanying roast vegetables and drippings, adding a gallon of water (16 cups) to a large pot. If you make a plain roast turkey, add several stalks celery, an onion, 2 leeks and a couple of carrots along with several sprigs of rosemary, sage and thyme to the broth. Scrape as much white meat from the carcass, making this a bare bones operation (couldn’t resist that one!) Save some of the dark meat but add the thigh meat into the broth. Add salt to taste. Simmer for a couple of hours, or longer if you can. I simmered  my latest batch for 8 hours until it became a lovely dark brown. Pour through a sieve into a large container. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight until the fat separates.

Soak the dried mushrooms in 2 cups of warm water for at least 20 minutes until soft.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spoon the fat from the top of the broth and reserve one Tablespoon. Heat the broth to boiling.

Gently scrub fresh mushrooms with a soft mushroom brush or wet paper towel. Wrap a paper towel around a bunch at a time to dry them. Include the dried reconstituted shiitake mushrooms. Slice the woody ends off of the stems.

quartered mushrroms for soup

Cut creminis and shiitakes into quarters and the portobello into eights or smaller pieces. Roast for 15 minutes. Slice the shallot, chanterelles and porcinis thinly. Roast for 10 minutes.

roasted mushrooms for soup

Stir the roasted mushrooms and shallot into the hot broth along with the soaking liquid. Cook the soup for half an hour and then let cool for half an hour. Stir in leftover gravy.

Ladle out 1/3 of the soup into a blender. Blend on high then pour back into the broth.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add a spoonful of salt. Stir in 3 handfuls of egg noodles. Cook for 6 minutes on medium heat. Drain noodles.

While noodles are cooking, shred and chop the white turkey meat until you have 2 cups, and set aside.

Add noodles to soup. Stir in pepper and sherry. Add cream, half and half or milk.

Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and adjust to taste. Stir in reserved turkey meat and peas and cook for 5 minutes.

Roasted Mushroom Turkey Gravy

Roasting the mushrooms adds a whole new dimension of flavor and texture to this classic turkey gravy. Stirring the gravy will build up your arm muscles.


Makes about 3 cups gravy

Ingredients:

1 pound crimini mushrooms, cleaned well

About 2 Tb olive oil to coat mushrooms

5 dried shiitake mushrooms

Approximately 2 Tb to 1/4 cup dried Chanterelle mushrooms

1 cup warm water for soaking dried mushrooms

1/4 cup dry sherry

several grinds black pepper

1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Turkey drippings from Thanksgiving turkey

Salt to taste if not using brined turkey drippings

Directions:

Start the mushrooms the day before Thanksgiving. Scrub mushrooms with a soft brush or wet paper towel and rinse well. Chop the woody ends of the stems.

Preheat oven to 425′ Toss mushrooms with olive oil until well coasted.

roasted mushrooms.jpg

Place on an oiled pan and roast for 15 minutes until they are nicely browned and soft.

You can also soak dried mushrooms. I used a combination of dried shiitake and Chanterelle. I roasted the reconstituted shiitakes for 5 minutes, but that was just taking it to the next level. When mushrooms are cool enough to handle, cut into fourths, sixths or eighths, depending on the size of the mushroom. Discard the shiitake stems since they are tough. Store cut mushrooms in a container with the soaking liquid, with a splash of sherry.

Boil giblets and neck with  1 cup water, 1/2 onion, a celery stalk, fresh thyme and pepper for an hour. When cool, chop giblets finely if you want to add them to the gravy. Store in a container until turkey is cooked.

When turkey is roasted, pick up the turkey from the roasting rack and place over the serving platter. Let it sit for 15 minutes before carving.

If you roasted your turkey without liquid, stir sherry in the roasting pan and heat while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Stir in mushroom liquid, turkey stock and  Roz’s Jewish Chicken Soup or boxed turkey stock to make 2 3/4 cups.

If using my recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey, use the liquid and roasted vegetables at the bottom of the pan for gravy:

???????????????????????????????Remove large pieces of herbs from the liquid, then pour liquid into a fat separating cup. This is a cup that has a spout connected to the bottom of the cup.  The fat will rise to the top and only the fat-free liquid will pour out. Add reserved turkey broth, sherry and mushroom liquid to make 2 3/4 cups stock.

Measure out 1/2 cup fat left in the cup. If there is not 1/2 cup, then add chicken fat and/or butter. Pour into a medium saucepan. Whisk in sifted flour over medium heat to make a roux. Cook the roux about 7 minutes over medium heat, stirring often, until it begins to darken to the shade of peanut butter.

Heat the stock to a boil in a medium pot. Put the roux in a large mixing bowl. Set beaters on low and slowly pour in the hot turkey broth, beating constantly.  Add minced thyme, rosemary, and several grinds black pepper. Beat the gravy on medium high until it is smooth. Pour the gravy into the pot and heat until it is simmering. Stir gravy fwhile it heats to a boil.

Add the mushrooms, and chopped giblets if desired, and cook 5 minutes stirring constantly. The gravy will thicken, although you may not notice it until it cools down, but it should coat the back of a spoon. Adjust salt to taste if necessary.

Thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle food section for their tips on making gravy with roux.

Roasted Mushroom-Barley soup with Beef Broth

roasted mushroom barley soupThis earthy soup is made with four kinds of mushrooms, although you can vary the type. It’s rich made with beef broth, but vegetarians can use vegetable broth as well. Serves 6

½ cup pearl barley (not to be confused with Pearl Bailey)

5 cups water

1 lb beef femur  bone

2 medium cloves garlic

2 leeks, white and light green part only.

1 onion

4 stalks celery

2 large carrots, peeled

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt, to taste

1 Tb olive oil

2 lbs crimini (brown) mushrooms

6 fresh shiitake mushrooms

4 King mushrooms

1 large bunch of oyster mushrooms

4 dried shiitake mushrooms

1/4 to 1/2  tsp white pepper, depending on how peppery you like your soup

3 Tbs cooking sherry

several grinds black pepper

several sprigs fresh thyme leaves to garnish.

Make beef broth: Bring the water to a boil with the beef bone. Chop leeks, celery, carrots and garlic finely and add to the water. Grind the dried shiitake mushrooms coarsely in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder. Add them to the vegetables along with the salt and dried thyme. Simmer for at least 3 hours. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, skim the fat off the soup. Remove the bone and blend the soup.

Bring soup to a boil. Add barley and let simmer for 20 minutes. While barley is simmering, heat oven to 425 degrees. Clean mushrooms well (I soak them several times in a salad spinner, then clean each one with a brush or paper towel.) Trim the woody ends from the  crimini and shitake mushrooms then toss with olive oil (or spray with olive oil spray) and roast them  for 20 minutes until they are soft.  While they are roasting, chop the oyster and King mushrooms and add them to the broth along with the white pepper to taste.

roasted mushroomsAdd the liquid from the roasted mushroom to the soup. Cut the roasted mushrooms in quarters and slices and add them  to the broth.

Simmer  for 20 minutes. Correct seasonings, adding several grinds black pepper and sherry. Sprinkle a bit of fresh thyme leaves on top. Serve the pearl barley inside the oyster mushrooms.

Eggplant Marinara


Rich with eggplant, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes, spicy with Italian sausage,  garlic and pepper, and fragrant with fresh herbs, this marinara sauce is ideal for pasta or Lasagna. There are two ways to make this marinara: with eggplant purée or sliced Italian eggplant. You could even use both for an extra helping of vegetables. I roasted the mushrooms to bring out their earthy flavor.

I took a tip from The Breakaway Cook Eric Gower, and added ground dried mushrooms for umami, (Japanese for savory deliciousness), which wonderfully expands and rounds out flavors.

Along with my homegrown herbs, I add a fresh bay leaf. I pick them when I get the chance to hike in the hills around Berkeley and Palo Alto. Their aroma brings me memories of my youth hiking and biking those hills. Just be careful about leaving them in too long – the fresh ones are very strong and can overpower the sauce, making it bitter. Just leave it in about 15 minutes.

Serves 8 (with pasta)

3 links turkey Italian sausage or vegetarian sausage

1 Tb olive oil

1 onion, chopped fine

1 Tb  salt (to taste)

½ tsp. red chili flakes

5 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

3 Tb minced fresh oregano OR  3 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary

1 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp. minced fresh tarragon or 1/2 tsp dried tarragon

several grinds black pepper

2 bell peppers and/or red bell peppers. (can substitute 3 cups frozen or 2 cups jarred roasted red peppers)

1 small (6 oz) can tomato paste

¼ cup red wine

2 lbs or 14 large soft Roma tomatoes (substitute 24 oz can of crushed tomatoes and 24 oz diced tomatoes

1 Tb sugar to taste

1 bay leaf

3 dried mushrooms

1 roasted globe eggplant  and/or  4 Italian eggplants, cut in rounds and quartered

1 cup quartered mushrooms

1  14-oz can artichoke hearts, quartered

I bunch (1/4 cup minced) fresh basil

Italian eggplant method: Roast or barbecue eggplant and peppers. Discarding ends, slice eggplant into rounds, then quarter the rounds.

Globe Eggplant Method: Pierce globe eggplant with a fork, and roast in a heavy oiled baking pan in 400’ oven for 1 hour until it collapses.  Roast red peppers and mushrooms for the last ½ hour alongside the eggplant. You can roast the vegetables a day ahead of time.

You can also barbecue the eggplant peppers and mushrooms.

While eggplant is roasting and cooling, make the rest of the sauce.

Slice, quarter and brown sausages and drain the fat.

Sauté onion and salt in olive oil until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes Add sausage, chopped fresh or frozen bell peppers (if not roasting them), chili flakes, garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme and black pepper. Sauté another couple of minutes until herbs release their fragrance.

Add tomato paste, then fill tomato paste can with water then stir in the tomato paste that has stuck to the can.

Halve Roma tomatoes and scoop out seeds and fibrous ribs.

Pulse tomatoes in food processor until desired consistency is reached. I did mine on the chunky side. (If you are using canned tomatoes, add them instead.) Stir into tomato paste and herb mixture. Add sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.

If using chopped Italian eggplant, add it to sauce.

If using globe eggplant, scrape it out from the peel and mince it. Stir it into the sauce.

Quarter mushrooms and mix in sauce.

Grind the dried mushrooms until pulverized in a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder. Stir into sauce.

Add 1/4 cup wine and sip some on the side…

If using roasted bell peppers, stir them into the sauce.

Stir well and let simmer for an hour. You can make this in a crock pot and let it simmer for several hours.

Add quartered artichoke hearts and tarragon for last 10 minutes of cooking. Just before serving over pasta or making lasagna, stir in basil and cook a couple of minutes.