I heart film. - A little over a year ago I bought a Canon Ae-1 and last week I found the first roll of film I shot on it and finally had it processed (Its been a crazy year ...
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Last year as Autumn approached - I found myself seeking after an idyllic autumn with cool deep forests, wild mushrooms, apple picking and American football games. When I close my eyes I can almost smell the damp air and hear the red and golden leaves as they rustle in the breeze. This longing has stayed with me for the entire year. I am normally a summer girl, but all summer I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Fall. The temperature has dipped here in Berlin after a very hot summer and now the most beautiful time of year - the cooler later part of summer and early warmer fall - is here.
In fact, I knew it must be about that time when I started seeing large baskets of Chanterelles at the farmers market. Here in Germany they apparently love their Pfferlinge, and the season (much like Spargel - or Asparagus -season) is opened with much fanfare by local markets and restaurants. I find myself drawn to the large piles of fungus with their gorgeous golden hue, fan-like ridged appearance, and those tell-tale signs that they just made their way from the beautiful German forest - little clumps of moist black dirt, pine needles, and flecks of soft green moss.
Every year when I see them I want to do something special to highlight their unique flavor. Of course, being me, I found myself drawn to making a rich, indulgent, and creamy soup. This soup might be one of my favorites I have ever made - its practically obscene its so rich and flavorful. The flavor of the Chanterelles is everything - all the other ingredients serve to bring that to the front. Its soothing and filling - and drizzled with a nice fruity olive oil and topped with some crispy-fried chopped Chanterelles it makes not only a delicious, but a gorgeous, main dish or first course. The flavor of this soup is very simple and so greatly depends on the quality of the individual ingredients - use a flavorful stock and good quality wine and olive oil and you won't regret it.
Cream of Chanterelles Soup
500g fresh Chatarelles, cleaned and coarsely chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I also have a really nice olive oil I brought back from Nice that I only use for drizzling - this is what I used to garnish the soup)
1 cup finely chopped onion (about half a large onion)
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs flour
4 or 5 Tbs sweet Red Wine (I used a Vin d'Pays that I am rather fond of - and if I wasn't pregnant, I would have enjoyed a glass or three with the soup as well)
2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 cup 1% milk
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh ground Black Pepper
First, prepare the Chanterelles. Heat a large saute or frying pan over medium - high heat. Once its heated, add a few glugs of olive oil (so it just coats the bottom of the pan). Saute the Chanterelles in small batches (a large handful at a time - so they saute and don't steam - and seasoning each batch with a pinch of salt) until soft and browned. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon to a plate or bowl and set aside. On the last batch, deglaze the pan with just a small splash of red wine, scraping up all the brown bits and reserving with the rest of the chanterelles.
Reserve a small amount of the cooked Chanterelles (like a 1/4 to 1/2 cup) to use as a garnish - its nice to fry these a bit more as well, until nice and carmelized and a tad bit crunchy.
Heat a large cast iron pot or stock pot over medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil then the chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until soft and translucent and just beginning to brown around the edges - around 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute another minute more. Add the cooked Chanterelles and stir to combine.
Stir in the flour so that it coats all the veggies, then add the Red Wine. Stir vigorously and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan ( it will kind of become a bit of a goopy mess at this point).
Add the Stock and stir to combine. Bring just to the boil, then reduce heat and let gently simmer, covered, for at least 10 minutes. Stir in the milk and cream and taste - add salt and pepper as needed. Let cook, uncovered, over low heat (just below a simmer) for another 5 to 10 minutes - stirring frequently. Taste again and season as necessary.
Remove soup from heat and let cool for a few minutes, then with an immersion blender, blend until smooth and thickened (you can use a regular blender, but take care not to burn yourself). Taste again as sometimes once the soup is blended the flavors are slightly different.
Ladle into individual bowls and drizzle with olive oil and garnish with the fried Chanterelles.