Making Adjustments + Cream of Roasted Mushroom and Bacon Soup

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One of the great things about cooking is the ability to adjust.  Baking seems to be much more restrictive.  You can't decide to add or omit ingredients last minute.  At least, my baking skills don't allow for that.  My favorite kind of cooking doesn't involve a recipe.  I follow methods.  Study different recipes and techniques, then mash them together into my own version of a dish.  Which, granted, has been a challenge as I log recipes for the blog.  

I always believe in paying attention to my ingredients.  Sometimes, a tomato is more juicy than anticipated.  Other times, something is just a bit bland compared to its usual flavorful self.  And we, the eaters, need different things at different times.  Maybe, you would like chicken that is a bit spicier.  Perhaps, something that is more silhouette friendly.  At times, our heart needs the meals to be a whole lot more comforting {read: butter}.

Adjustment is exactly what happened with this recipe.  You see, Macey and I had gotten together last week and got on the topic of affordable grocery shopping.  We both agreed Trader Joe's has great food for the right price, but, at times, it can be challenging to make a fresh, not-previously-frozen meal with their products. I immediately put it in the back of my head that I was going to make an affordable, light, and delicious meal using only Trader Joe's products.  I had a nicoise-style salad planned.  Then, #SnowMageddonPocolypcePolarVortexWhiteHoleOfSnow hit Portland and the cold weather completely changed the meal I had planned.  This soup is yummy comfort food at its finest.  Layers of flavor.  Creamy, yet light and zesty.  A house filled with aromatic hugs.  Visions of a Kincaid painting.

  Please note, the price next to each item indicates the value of the amount used in the recipe, not the price paid for bunches or bundles.  Anything purchased in a bunch is part of my normal grocery shopping list, so, nothing went to waste.  This post was not sponsored by Trader Joe's, and, is a representation of pricing at my individual store.  It is solely based on my opinions and experiences.  Trader Joe's is in no way affiliated with this post.  

2 Onions {$0.60}
3 TBS Minced Garlic {In Pantry}
2 Carrot Sticks {$0.10}
2 Stalks Celery {$0.10}
1/4 lbs Quality Bacon {$0.80}
2 Packages of Mushrooms {$2.78}
Parsley {$0.40}
1/2 Bottle Two-Buck Chuck {$1.25}
2 Boxes Low Sodium Chicken Stock {$4.00}
Heavy Cream {1.19}
Parsley {$0.30}
Salt & Pepper 
2 Lemons {$0.20}
1 Package Mushrooms Optional {$1.39}
 This recipe made 18 servings, and can easily be cut in half.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Chop the onion, carrot and celery.  Clean and quarter 2-packages of mushrooms.  Cut bacon into 1/4 inch strips.  Layer in a large dutch oven or roasting pan. 
 Roast for 1-hour

Remove pan from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Skim off any excessive fat if necessary.  Add wine.  Let cool for 20-30 minutes

Re-heat oven to 350 Degrees.  
This step is optional;  If you do not have an immersion blender, or, would prefer a chunky soup, omit this step.  Once cool, blend with an immersion blender.  Add 1-package of sliced mushrooms.  Return to oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and add zest and juice from two lemons, and chicken stock.  Over medium heat, bring to a soft boil.  Remove from heat, add heavy cream and parsley.
Salt & Pepper to taste.

So delicious, I couldn't be bothered beautifying the bowl.  


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