Tonight I was able to cook for friends
The first of many dinner parties to come in 2013. Plus .. a chance to get to try out a brand new recipe!
How cool is that?
The great thing is they've been foodies as long as I've had the gift of knowing them .. But not snobby about it .. If it didn't turn out they'd still love me anyway.
The prefect venue on all fronts .. good company (whether you're physically together or not) .. and good food
I love you guys
This soup is FANTASTIC. It really is. My house smelled incredible all afternoon while it was cooking. When I brought some to my favorite wine bar as dinner .. a number of people commented “what ARE you eating over there?”
Serve with homemade bread for dipping .. Absolutely wonderful!
A note about the bouquet garni
I thought the idea of parmesan rind was great .. but really? Does it add that much of an extra something?
I'd been saving many in the freezer .. may as well give it a try. Rind tucked away .. check.
After searching around on the web for all the ways people have used the rinds .. I have a feeling I'll be breaking into my stash more often
~ Adapted from the NY Times
- ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- ½ pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced thick
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
- ¾ cup whole or pearl barley
- 1½ quarts chicken stock or water
- A bouquet garni made with a few sprigs each thyme and parsley, and a bay leaf and a Parmesan rind
- 8 to 10 ounces kale, stemmed and washed thoroughly
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Prepare the Mushrooms
- Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour over them two cups of boiling water. Let them sit for 30 minutes.
- Set a strainer over a bowl, and line it with cheesecloth. Lift the mushrooms from the water and squeeze over the strainer, then rinse in several changes of water. Squeeze out the water and set aside. Strain the soaking water through the cheesecloth-lined strainer. Add water as necessary to make a total of two cups. Set aside.
- Make the Soup
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the onion.
- Cook, stirring often, until just about tender, about five minutes, and add the sliced fresh mushrooms.
- Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are beginning to soften, about three minutes, and add the garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Continue to cook for about five minutes, until the mixture is juicy and fragrant. Add the reconstituted dried mushrooms, the barley, the mushroom soaking liquid, and the chicken stock (or water if you’re using it instead). Salt to taste.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Meanwhile, stack the kale leaves in bunches and cut crosswise into slivers.
- Add the kale to the simmering soup, and continue to simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes. (The barley should be tender and the broth aromatic. The kale should also be very tender)
- Remove the bouquet garni, taste and adjust salt, add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and serve.
- ** Note: Add the bouquet garni during the 45 minute simmering, then pull it out when the soup is done
% Protein: 11
% Carbs: 67
% Fat: 2