Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mixed Mushroom Soup with Green Lentils


I LOVE mushrooms......and I hope you do too because this is a soup for mushroom lovers! This soup came about because I was cleaning out my fridge and realized I had a box of dried porcini mushrooms that I needed to use. I went to the grocery store and bought some fresh crimini mushrooms and fresh shiitake mushrooms and mixed mushroom soup was born. Something to remember when making this earthy flavored soup is that it only needs to be lightly salted. If you don't salt it enough it will be bland, but adding just a small amount of salt will bring out the mushroom flavor beautifully. 


I also love the New Pornographers, and I have been listening to their newest album, Together, for a few weeks now. I've been listening to it in sections or just repeating certain tracks, but tonight I decided to take the time to listen to the whole thing while making this soup.......


For the broth:
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 leek, sliced and cut in half
1 cup broccoli
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a little more
2 cups hot water (for the dried mushrooms)
3 cups water (or water used to boil the lentils)
salt to taste
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon rosemary

For The Lentils:
1/2 LB Green Lentils
5 Cups Water
Some Olive Oil
A few pinches of salt


Putting It All Together:
The first thing to do would be to start cooking the lentils. You will use around 5 cups of water, and add about two tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the water. Once the water starts to boil, add the lentils. Turn down the heat until it is at a slow boil. Usually green lentils take a bout 30-40 minutes to cook, but you can always test them after 30 minutes to see if they are at your desired texture. While the lentils are cooking you can start on the next step.

Soak the dried porcini's in the 2 cups of hot water for 15-20 minutes to soften and soak up the flavor. While they are soaking chop up the leeks, garlic, broccoli, crimini mushrooms, and shiitake's.

In another soup pot, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil and add the garlic and leeks. Cook for about 3 minutes and add the 1/4 cup olive oil and the shiitake and crimini mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes and add the porcini mushrooms along with the water they are soaking in.

Add 3 cups of filtered water and flavor it yourself. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, taste, and adjust from there.

**If you want to be creative add some of the water used to cook the lentils. I actually added 2 cups of the lentil water and then a cup of filtered water. Some of the lentils will get into the measuring cup, but that is just fine. You can also use vegetable broth if you would like, but make sure it is low sodium. If you need to add more water to make it more soupy, go ahead!

You'll have a lot of leftover lentils, but just add about 1 cup to the soup. Add the rosemary, the bay leaves, stir everything together, bring to a boil, lower heat to a slow boil, and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add to a bowl.... add more lentils if you desire... and you're done!

Afterthoughts: 

I sat at my table savoring my new concoction while being completely captivated by Dan Bejar and Neko Case singing Daughters of Sorrow in the background and I thought, This is one of the best soups I have ever made! I love it when this happens! It was a perfect moment. Sometimes I throw things together and it's good enough for me, but I can't say it's actually good enough to share it with someone else. This soup is hearty, fragrant, and full of flavor with every bite. I can't wait to use mushroom broth for so many other things..... and I couldn't have done it without the New Pornographers to back me up.....


I have been listening to The New Pornographers for a few years  now. I have every album, and have been spending some time listening to them all thoroughly. The first one I listened to was Challengers, which is their 4th. It takes a totally different turn from their first three, which are more upbeat. That being said, they didn't just go from one extreme to another. Twin Cinema (3rd album) is a transition piece where you can hear hints of their catchy upbeat tunes from the first two albums, but then some songs that are still catchy, but also have some breathing room.

Challengers and Together have a more mellow (but not depressing) mood. I loved Challengers when I first heard it, but it was tough for me to go backwards with The New Pornographers. Although, it didn't take very long for me to fall in love with everything about them. What I love most about them is that they have their own style, but every song is different depending on who is fronting it. At first I couldn't get enough of Neko Case and A.C. Newman.... listening to their voices together just completely mesmerized me (and still does). But lately my interests have taken a turn to preferring the Dan Bejar songs. I just love his voice so much. I remember his style took awhile to grow on me, and when I first listened to Destroyer, I didn't take to it so well. I wanted to like it, but it just wasn't working for me, but now I can't stop listening (that's another blog post). That's what I love about this band..... the more I listen to them, I hear something different. The best way I can describe their songs are that they end in a different place from where they begin, and I never get sick of them.

I can't say that Together is the best album that they have put out, but I can say that I continue to like it more every time I listen. I'm listening to Valkyrie in the Roller Disco as I write this, and it's like a breath of fresh air. It just keeps getting better.

Namaste


Green Lentils on Foodista

4 comments:

Beth said...

I'm also a mushroom lover. I'll definitely try this.

Ren said...

Yeah! This looks amazing!!

Ren said...

I only had shiitake mushrooms to work with, but I made this soup tonight! YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks!!!!!

Monica said...

I'm so happy you liked it and it worked out for you!