In spite of the not-quite Indian Summer out there right now --we didn't drop in temperature enough for this heat wave to qualify-- the calendar does say October. Harvest time, Halloween just around the corner, and Thanksgiving (in Canada). The sunsets and the changing of the leaves on the trees presage hearty meals from the stock pot for the whole family.
I'm not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy quite a few vegetarian dishes. One such dish that has Fall written all over it is Hungarian Mushroom Soup, from Mollie Katzen's classic The New Moosewood Cookbook
If you're a lacto/ovo vegetarian, don't bother with this recipe. There's butter, milk, and sour cream involved. But there's mushrooms. And onions. And paprika. And...
Okay, okay. Here's the details, adapted in my language from Page 18:Hungarian Mushroom Soup
2 lbs mushrooms, sliced (I've made this with either white or portobello, and it tastes great with both)
2 cups onions, chopped (you can wing this and just chop up two onions)
2 tablespoons butter (I've used 3 in my stock pot, which is NOT non-stick)
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (I've used regular and 2%; not sure how it'll behave with skim)
2 teaspoons dill weed (dried will do)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt (last time I made this, I accidentally put in 1 tablespoon and spent a few minutes scraping what salt I could out of the container. I think I ended up with 2 teaspoons by the end, and I could taste the difference.)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (I've used RealLemon and equivalents, and I can't tell the difference)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (never used it, but hey, if you've got some around....)
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream (when in doubt, go for more!)
- Melt butter in stock pot over medium heat
- Saute onions for a few minutes until glassy
- Add mushrooms, dill, salt, and paprika. Stir and cover.
- Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Yes, you'll look at those shrooms and the lack of liquid there and think "this is crazy!" However, trust in the recipe. It does work, and the moisture in the mushrooms comes right out during cooking, kept in place by the lid.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir it in. Reduce temp to medium low and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every half a minute or so.
- Add water, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. At about this time, the soup will have returned to bubbling.
- Add milk and black pepper (if you want any; I usually go for at least a teaspoon). Stir a few times.
- If you really want to add more salt, check for it here. Personally, I don't think it needs any more.
- Add the sour cream, stir it in, and turn off the heat.
- Once the sour cream is melted into the soup, it's ready.
- Use parsley as a garnish on top.
By far, the most expensive part of the recipe are the mushrooms, but you know what? It's worth it. Make some homemade bread (or heat up a baguette) and you've got a great meal.
The batch will serve 4 people --preferably non-teenagers-- as long as you have a good amount of bread around. If you've got teenagers or more people, you might need to make either a double batch or have this as a first course while a roast or something else is cooking. Yeah, I just mentioned meat in a vegetarian dish, but if you've got a hearty main course to add to this, go for it!
If you want to check out Mollie's website, here it is: http://www.molliekatzen.com
. She has a lot of recipes there (sadly, not this one), and it's worth checking out.
EtA: Added just what you're supposed to do with the parsley.