Cream of Mushroom Soup

A well-loved favorite, both my mom and I love it; pretty easy to make too. The proportions below serve 4

Ingredients:

Button Mushrooms (white ones): 200 gm

Medium sized onion: 1

Garlic: 4-6 cloves

Olive oil: 1/2 tsp

Milk: 1 cup

Water: 2 cups

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Wash the mushrooms under running water taking care to see that all dirt is rinsed off; set aside for water to drain.

Finely slice the onion; peel and grate the garlic. Returning to the mushrooms, halve and then slice them fine.

Put a saucepan /wok on flame, roast the garlic till light brown, add the finely sliced onions, roast until pink, add the finely sliced mushrooms, sprinkle over this 1/2 tsp olive oil, stir. Cook for about 1 min on high flame, reduce flame continue cooking mushrooms until light brown (about 2 mins). Turn off flame, remove half the quantity. In a blender add removed half, add 1 cup milk (brought to room temperature), blend for 1-2 mins. Return to pan/wok, relight gas, add 2 cups of water, stir gently. Allow to come to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for another 2 mins.

Just before serving add salt and pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls ensuring some of the whole pieces go along (my mom and I prefer it that way; you can opt to blend all of the mushroom-onion-garlic). Garnish with grated cheese, paprika (optional). Serve with toasted bread (garlic or otherwise).

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Monsoon Medley

Monsoon Medley

This dish, if it can be called that was arrived at/created one muggy monsoon evening, when I wanted something hot and filling and slightly tangy, but not very heavy. It is actually, a soup, more broth-ish because of its thick consistency…but hey…it was good, and yes, it was appreciated by the friend who was over for dinner {thanks for the appreciation, @Kaalika: http://twitpic.com/29qnr7 }

Ingredients (this serves 2):

Spinach: 1 bunch (fresh, small leaves) about 250-300 gm: washed, chopped

Onion: 1 medium sized, finely sliced

Garlic cloves: 4, peeled, grated

Garlic: 1/2 inch piece, peeled, grated

Mango: small, half ripe, peeled, grated

Milk: low fat, 1 cup

Water: 1 cup

Olive oil to cook: 1/2 tsp

Salt and pepper to taste/ herbs, optional

Method:

Heat a wok/saucepan, add the oil, add finely sliced onion, grated garlic and ginger and saute till onions are transparent; take off heat, put aside
Wash spinach well, chop or tear into pieces, boil; cook till most of the water that coats the leaves has evaporated; cool; blend in a mixer with grated mango, onion-garlic-ginger.
Return to fire, add 1 cup each of of milk and water, bring to boil; once boiled, reduce heat, simmer. Stir, add in pepper, add salt, (add herbs if wanted) simmer for a couple of minutes more, remove from flame, serve hot.

Garnish with sour cream or butter; serve with toasted bread or by itself.

Note:

The mango added a tangy twist to the spinach soup; you can remove the mango and replace with 150 gm peas/carrots, lightly sauteed when blending. You can also opt to leave a few peas or pieces of carrot whole in the soup, if you so desire.

Please feel free to tweak the recipe (for 4 serves, you would need two bunches of spinach, quantities for other ingredients remain unchanged); some might want to blend the spinach before cooking, but that can at times allow the bitterness of spinach leaves to seep through. Milk gives it a unique flavor, almost cream like consistency. Pls do note that if using milk, salt should be added last.