Wild Mushroom Soup Au Gratin for Valentine’s Day

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved french onion soup. Sadly, it does not love me. It goes through me at the speed. Despite the ill effect this lovely classic has on me, I constantly find myself thinking about it . It’s the whole wanting what you can’t have thing!

When I woke up Sunday morning, I found myself, once again, craving a big steaming bowl of bread soaked gooey cheesy yumminess.

I thought about it all day long until I had talked myself into substituting mushrooms for the onions. It is kind of strange that I obsess over food the way that I do…

It worked perfectly.

The trick with french onion soup is a long slow cook on the onions before adding the stock.

To deepen the flavour of the mushrooms, I roasted some, sautéed some, rehydrated some and threw a few into the hot broth uncooked.

Typically, on Sunday, I serve something roasted . When Ralph walked into the dining room and saw a big honking bowl of soup topped with crunchy baguette and melted oozing mozzarella, instead of missing the meat he was delighted! He knew there would be a second bowl…

WILD MUSHROOM SOUP AU GRATIN

serves 4

5 large Portobello mushrooms, gills scraped – tops and stems chopped into 1″ dice

2 lbs white button mushrooms, sliced thick

1 cup dried wild mushrooms, rehydrated in 1 cup warmed dry white wine

extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 stalk of celery, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

6 cups beef broth

french baguette, day old

shredded mozzarella, to taste I like lots!

Preheat broiler

Place 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil on a baking sheet then toss half of the chopped Portobello mushrooms in the oil

Place baking sheet under broiler until mushrooms are golden – remove from broiler and set aside

Place 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.

When oil is hot add onion, carrot and celery. Saute veg until soft.

Add remaining Portobello mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add half of the white button mushrooms and continue cooking an additional 10 minutes

Add soup stock and bring to the boil without boiling

Add remaining white button mushrooms, broiled Portobello mushrooms and rehydrated wild mushrooms along with the wine. Be careful not to pour any grit from the bottom of the rehydrating solution into your soup.

Add dried and fresh herbs

Season to taste then allow soup to simmer for 45 minutes.

Preheat broiler

Ladle soup into oven proof bowls

Place thick bread slices on top of soup and cover with shredded mozzarella

Broil until cheese is bubbling and golden

Happy Valentine’s Day – wish me luck

xo