Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cream of Mushroom Soup

IT HAS NOW BEEN RAINING STEADILY FOR five days. Steady rain day and night, fog, and cooler temperatures mean it is time to bring out the soup pot.

Soup is actually my favorite thing to cook and I made this one especially for my husband who is an avid mushroom enthusiast. I like mushrooms just fine but he really loves them. Any mushroom or a mixture of different mushroom will work equally well in this flavorful and creamy soup.

I believe in washing my food. I wash eggs before I crack them and bananas before I peel them. I wash bagged lettuces that claim to have already been washed forty-seven times. And I wash my mushrooms, just before I use them. I place mushrooms in a colander, then using my faucet's sprayer, spritz away all the black matter clinging to them. Dry on a kitchen towel and proceed with the recipe.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
3 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
3 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream

Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and salt lightly. A few minutes later, add mushrooms and cook until onions are tender.

Stir in flour until thoroughly mixed. Add milk, continuing to stir until mixture thickens and is smooth. Add vegetable stock and soy sauce, stirring until smooth. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 10 - 15 minutes.

Just before serving, add salt, pepper, lemon juice, and sour cream. Serve garnished with paprika and an additional dollop of sour cream.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Rosalynn Carter's Baked Eggplant

WHEN I FIRST SAW THIS RECIPE on Melynda's blog, Our Sunday Cafe, I knew I would make it. The first reason is that I love eggplant and they are in season. Secondly, I am a fan of former president Jimmy Carter and his beautiful wife, Rosalynn. Like most Southerners, the Carters love vegetables, but the eggplant is undoubtedly Jimmy Carter's favorite vegetable.

When we recently heard that President Carter had been diagnosed with cancer, I felt a bond with him on a completely different level. Besides his peace keeping missions, his food preferences, his dignity and courage, his charming  Southerness, when given a diagnosis of cancer, you inadvertently become a member of a club to which you had no desire to be a member. I have been a member of the club for about 3 years. To not leave anyone in mystery, here is a brief post I made about it back then.

Because this is a food blog, not a health blog, I give you the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Rosalynn Carter's Baked Eggplant
1 large eggplant
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 cup grated Swiss cheese

Slice eggplant about 1/2-inch thick. Place on a rimmed baking pan, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until lightly browned and fork tender.

Meanwhile heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet; add onion and cook until golden. Add garlic and tomatoes, cooking until beginning to thicken. Stir in seasonings and bread crumbs.

Spread the tomato mixture over the broiled eggplant then cover with grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 15 minutes.