Recipe Review: Roasted Mushroom Soup with Apple Cider Stock Part II

As I indicated in Recipe Review: Roasted Mushroom Soup with Apple Cider Stock Part I, this is a soup I’ve been wanting to make for years and haven’t taken the time to tackle.  The class I taught at The Kitchen Shop and Cooking School on Friday evening was entitled Apple Harvest and included apples in each recipe.  What better time to work with this recipe?

In Part I of my post, I explained how I made the cider stock….now for the soup.  In comparison with the making of the stock, the soup is a breeze!

First the mushrooms….for some quick peeks at my recent experience at the mushroom festival in Kennett Square, PA, click here and here…..the recipe called for yellow morel mushroom, oyster mushrooms, and button mushrooms.  Since I wasn’t able to locate morels in my area, I substituted Portobello each time I made the soup.

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I cleaned the mushrooms with a mushroom brush and a damp paper towel and then, although the recipe instructed me to saute the mushrooms whole, never one to follow directions I sliced the mushrooms and sautéed them in butter, stirring occasionally.  “Why?” you ask.  I thought the mushrooms would give up their liquids more quickly and would brown better if they were sliced rather than whole…..my thinking may be flawed (or not), but the outcome was some beautifully browned mushrooms!

After the mushrooms were browned and no liquid remained in the pan, I added some Madeira wine, fresh oregano, and salt/pepper.

In the last year I’ve learned a little something about Madeira wine.  I’m no expert, but I the following information fascinating and thought you might too.  Madeira (REAL Madeira) is made in Portugal – in the Madeira Islands – and is a wine fortified with brandy.  (Not too bad so far, right?)  There is a wide spectrum – from dry to sweet – of this very robust wine.  The wine undergoes a unique wine making process and a unique aging process.  During wine making, the wine is heated for an extended period of time and is exposed to a specific level of oxidation.  During the aging process, the wine is stored in sauna-like conditions.  These processes are meant to mimic the intense heat and constant movement of the ships on which Madeira was originally transported – these two factors had a transforming effect on the wine.

In my quest to learn about Madeira and try different brands, I have found that you can buy “knock-off” Madeiras from California – they are quite inexpensive, but you get what you pay for.  When I spent $10 more per bottle on Leacock’s Rainwater Madeira, I got a change in flavor that was immeasurable! I’m not sure for cooking I would spend much more per bottle, but for drinking I certainly might!

Anyway, back to the soup…while the mushrooms and Madeira mingled in the skillet, I heated the cider stock in a separate stock pot.  The mushrooms continued to cook until the Madeira evaporated.  Then I added all but 1/2 cup of the mushrooms into the heated stock and simmered it for 15 minutes.

Finally, I used my immersion blender to puree the soup until it was smooth (if you like a little texture in your soup, feel free to leave it chunky).  I added a whisper of heavy cream, simmered the soup for an additional minute and tasted it for seasoning adjustments.

Then, the moment of truth….taste testing.  The roasted mushroom soup with apple cider stock was magnificent.  It was smooth,, creamy (but not overly so), warm, and flavorful.  It had a hint of sweetness from the stock which balanced nicely with the mushrooms.  I will say the second time I made it the apple cider I purchased was sweeter than the first time and I liked the soup better with a less-sweet cider.

This past Friday evening I made this soup for the students in my Apple Harvest class and they LOVED it too!

I’d give this soup 5 M’s out of 5!

Even though it is very time-intensive, it is worth the work.  I would definitely recommend you giving this soup a try….perhaps for a holiday or other special occasion. You will not be sorry!

Roasted Mushroom Soup with Apple Cider Stock

Ingredients

  • 2 cups yello morel mushrooms (can substitute portobello mushrooms)
  • 2 cups oyster mushrooms
  • 2 cups button mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (divided)
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine
  • 7 cups apple cider stock (see recipe below)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)

Note

Adapted from "In Praise of Apples: A Harvest of History, Horticulture & Recipes" by Mark Rosenstein, 1996.

This recipe will make more cider stock than you need for the Roasted Mushroom Soup with Apple Cider Stock.  YOu can freeze the rest for other uses.

Directions

1. Wipe any dirt from the mushrooms and remove and discard any dried, hard parts of the stems.
2. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the whole mushrooms and sauté, tossing once or twice during the first few minutes. The mushrooms will begin to render their liquid.
3. After 5 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low.
4. Pour 7 cups of cider stock into a stockpot (separate from the mushrooms) and bring to a simmer.
5. Continue to cook the mushrooms, browning them and allowing them to render all their liquid. You may need to add some additional butter to keep them from sticking to the pan or burning. Stir once every 3 minutes while they cook.
6. After the mushroom liquid has evaporated, add the salt, pepper, 2 Tbsp oregano, and the Madeira wine. Allow the wine to evaporate completely.
7. Add all but 6 Tbsp of the browned mushrooms to the simmering stock. Turn the heat up and bring the stock to a slow boil. Cook for 15 minutes.
8. Check seasonings and adjust if necessary.
9. Puree the finished soup with an immersion blender.
10. Add the cream and cook for about 1 additional minute to allow the cream to incorporate into the soup.
11. Divide among bowls and garnish with the remaining oregano and the whole mushrooms.
12. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Stock

Ingredients

  • 4 cooking apples (such as Fuji, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Cortland, or Nittany)
  • 6 medium carrots
  • 6 leeks (roots and 1/2 of greens leaves removed)
  • 4 cups Portobello mushroom stems
  • 3 tablespoons light cooking oil (such as safflower or peanut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 12 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 bay leaf

Note

Adapted from "In Praise of Apples: A Harvest of History, Horticulture & Recipes" by Mark Rosenstein, 1996.

This recipe will make more cider stock than you need for the Roasted Mushroom Soup with Apple Cider Stock.  YOu can freeze the rest for other uses.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Core and chop the unpeeled apples.
3. Cut the peeled carrots, leeks and mushroom stems into 2" pieces (discard any hard ends of the mushroom stems).
4. Place the chopped veggies and apples on sheet pans, toss with the cooking oil, and add the whole coriander seeds.
5. Roast until veggies and apples are golden brown, about 2 hours, turning the ingredients approximately every 30 minutes to ensure even browning.
6. Scrape the roasted vegetables into a stockpot. To loosen the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan, pour in 1/2 to 1 cup of cold water and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon (this process is known as deglazing).
7. Add the cider, the remaining stock ingredients, and just enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Place the lid on the stockpot, leaving it slightly ajar, and heat the stock over medium-low heat. It should reach a simmer in approximately 1 hour. Simmer for 8 hours, adjusting the heat if necessary.
8. Strain, cool and refrigerate.

Recipe Review: Roasted Mushroom Soup with Apple Cider Stock Part I

If you love mushrooms, this is a very interesting twist on mushroom soup.  If you love apple cider, this is a very unusual use for it.  Now what I write next is difficult for a blogger to pen; but if the thought of spending 10 to 12 hours on PART of a soup petrifies or perplexes you, you may want to stop reading.  Of course, you may just want to read for the entertainment value!!!

This is a soup I’ve been wanting to make for years and haven’t taken the time to tackle.  But the class I am teaching tomorrow evening at the Kitchen Shoppe – Apple Harvest – is all about apples and was the perfect reason to try this recipe.  As I do with all my class recipes, I made several iterations.  The last time I made it, I took pictures to share with you.

Since the soup is really a two-part recipe – the stock and then the soup – I thought I’d write the post that way as well.  So what I’m writing about here is just the apple cider stock, which could be used in other applications – I think an autumn risotto with this stock would be fantastic, perhaps with some roasted butternut squash to keep it veg or if you’re not concerned with meatless meals you might consider adding sausage…..mmm mmm mmm.

Anyway….

The following is a mostly pictorial representation of the stock-making process.  I should mention that I made a double batch, so don’t be alarmed if quantities of the ingredients in the recipe below do not match the quantities in the photos!

1. Preheat oven to 300 Degrees F

1. Preheat oven to 300 Degrees F

 

2. Washed Apples & Carrots

2. Washed Apples & Carrots

I cored the apples and cut them into wedges and then cut the wedges in half.  I peeled the carrots and cut them into 2″ lengths.

3. Leeks Before Cutting

3. Leeks Before Cutting

Leeks are VERY, VERY, VERY sandy, so they must be well cleaned.  I started by rinsing the outside.

4. Remove Root and Dark Green End

4. Remove Root and Dark Green End

Then I cut off the root end and the dark green tops.

5. Leeks Halved Lengthwise

5. Leeks Halved Lengthwise

I sliced each one in half lengthwise.

6. Leeks Cut into 2" Pieces

6. Leeks Cut into 2″ Pieces

And then I cut the halves into 2″ pieces.

7. Separated Layers in Water to Rinse Sand

7. Separated Layers in Water to Rinse Sand

I separated the cut layers and put them into a large bowl of cold water and “swished” them around – yes, “swish” is a technical cooking term!

8. Change Water Frequently - It Will Get Quite Dirty

8. Change Water Frequently – It Will Get Quite Dirty

Because I was cleaning quite a few leeks, I changed the water frequently.  As you can see, it gets quite dirty and it’s hard to clean anything with dirty water.

9. Leeks Draining

9. Leeks Draining

After swishing the leeks in the bowl of water, I removed them to a colander and rinsed them.

10. Leeks Drying

10. Leeks Drying

After all the leeks were “swished” and rinsed and drained in the colander, I moved them to a towel to dry.

11. Cut Portobello Mushrooms

11. Cut Portobello Mushrooms

I know the recipe calls for Portobello mushroom stems, but I wasn’t able to get stems only so I used the caps too!

12a. Veggies Roasting in Oven

12a. Veggies Roasting in Oven

After all the veggies were cleaned and cut, I put them on several half sheet pans, tossed them with peanut oil and sprinkled them with the coriander seeds.

12b. Veggies Roasting in Oven

12b. Veggies Roasting in Oven

Then I slid the trays into the oven to begin the 2-hour roast.  I turned the veggies and rotated the trays every 30 minutes.

13a.  Veggies After 1 Hour of Raosting

13a. Veggies After 1 Hour of Roasting

13b.  Veggies After 1 Hours of Raosting

13b. Veggies After 1 Hours of Roasting

The veggies and apples were beginning to caramelize after 1 hour.

14. Veggies After 2 Hours of Roasting

14. Veggies After 2 Hours of Roasting

After 2 hours, the veggies looked wonderful!  I scraped them into a stock pot and used some of the cider to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pans.

15. Roasted Veggies, Cider, Spices and Herbs

15. Roasted Veggies, Cider, Spices and Herbs

I added the apple cider, the peppercorns, some bay leaves and the fresh Italian parsley and put it on the stove to simmer….and simmer….and simmer.

16. Stock After Simmering for 8 Hours

16. Stock After Simmering for 8 Hours

After simmering for 8 hours, the stock looked rich and delicious.

17. Veggies to Discard After Straining

17. Veggies to Discard After Straining

I strained the stock and discarded the veggies and apples….

18. Spices to Discard After Straining

18. Spices to Discard After Straining

…and the herbs and spices.

19. The Finished Product

19. The Finished Product

20. The Finished Product

20. The Finished Product

Then I put the stock into the refrigerator and went to bed!!!!

I KNOW that I am asking you to devote a LOT of time to this recipe; but it’s a labor of love….perhaps it’s a recipe you would consider for a holiday.  I will suggest that although there are a lot of hours involved in making the stock – there is a lot of “down time” while the veggies are roasting and the stock is simmering.  You could make this on a fall Saturday while you’re watching football!  Your house will smell AMAZING!

You’ll have to stay tuned for my rating of this recipe…..

 

Apple Cider Stock

Ingredients

  • 4 cooking apples (such as Fuji, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Cortland, or Nittany)
  • 6 medium carrots
  • 6 leeks (roots and 1/2 of greens leaves removed)
  • 4 cups Portobello mushroom stems
  • 3 tablespoons light cooking oil (such as safflower or peanut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 12 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 bay leaf

Note

Adapted from "In Praise of Apples: A Harvest of History, Horticulture & Recipes" by Mark Rosenstein, 1996.

This recipe will make more cider stock than you need for the Roasted Mushroom Soup with Apple Cider Stock.  YOu can freeze the rest for other uses.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Core and chop the unpeeled apples.
3. Cut the peeled carrots, leeks and mushroom stems into 2" pieces (discard any hard ends of the mushroom stems).
4. Place the chopped veggies and apples on sheet pans, toss with the cooking oil, and add the whole coriander seeds.
5. Roast until veggies and apples are golden brown, about 2 hours, turning the ingredients approximately every 30 minutes to ensure even browning.
6. Scrape the roasted vegetables into a stockpot. To loosen the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan, pour in 1/2 to 1 cup of cold water and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon (this process is known as deglazing).
7. Add the cider, the remaining stock ingredients, and just enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Place the lid on the stockpot, leaving it slightly ajar, and heat the stock over medium-low heat. It should reach a simmer in approximately 1 hour. Simmer for 8 hours, adjusting the heat if necessary.
8. Strain, cool and refrigerate.

Cool Rain and Warm Cider

Saying Saturday afternoon was rainy is like saying George Clooney is cute – an utterly obvious understatement!!!  But we didn’t let the rain get us down.  Jeff and I spent the day running errands and while we were in the car hustling from one stop to the next, our friend Ben called to ask if we wanted to come over and learn to make apple cider.  Hello?  Of course we do!

In April, I wrote a little bit about Ben in a post entitled Serving Together in Love.  In that post, I wrote:

“You probably know someone who would do anything for anybody just because they needed help, right?  Well I do.  His name is Ben.  He’s “the guy” that everyone knows.  You know what I mean….he’s the guy in the phrase, “I know a guy with a truck.” Or, “I know a guy who delivers tanbark.” Or, “I know a guy who will come to your house and plant a tree in the dark.”” 

Well, he’s also THE GUY with the cider press!!!  The press was built by Ben’s grandfather and has been modified by several family  members as it has been handed down.  On Saturday Jeff and I were fortunate to see the press in action, spend time learning about the cider-making process, and hang out with Ben and Christa – and their sweet puppy, Paxton.

Paxton

Is he adorable, or what?  He’s sooooooo cute and such a pup!  He’s got sharp little teeth, he’s unquenchably curious, and he tugs at your heart-strings with just a look!  But I digress (as I usually do when there’s a puppy involved)!!!!

Anyway, when we arrived at Ben and Christa’s house, it was raining so hard I thought it might be monsoon season….but alas, I was wrong.  We sprinted from our car into the garage to find the welcoming smell of warm apple cider and to see Ben and Christa in action.  There was a large plastic tarp on the garage floor and in the center of it was THE PRESS.  Off to one side were hundreds of apples awaiting their fate.  And in the turkey fryer/cabbage cooker/cider boiler was a batch of cider bubbling away (thus the yummy aroma)!

Ben showed us a cycle of the process and then – like a surgical instructor taking seriously his charge to see one, do one, teach one – he put us to work!  With his help, we fed apples into the spinning blades and watched as they were extracted into the basket.  Then Ben put the lid on the basket and Jeff took a spin (ha ha – pun intended) at pressing.  After pouring the pressed cider through the strainer and into the boiler, we repeated the process with me pressing, until we had fed all the apples through the press and all the cider poured through the strainer and into the boiler.  Like any good process, then it was time to wait.  You know the part where you kick back, goof off and take a little rest!

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Fortunately, before we arrived, Ben and Christa had been working tirelessly so there was some cider that had already been cooled that was ready to bottle.  And drink.  We sipped our cider and watched Ben bottle the cooled cider.

Ready for Dispensing

Fruits of Our Labor

We did not leave empty-handed.  We got some cider to take home to drink and some cider to make into Apple Cider Caramel (See recipe below) for ourselves and for Ben and Christa.  We also left with two gigantic sweet potatoes, a watermelon, and various other things from Ben and Christa’s garden.

So although the day was cold and rainy and I was freezing by the time we got into the car, our bellies were warmed by the cider and our hearts were warmed by time spent learning something new from and spending time catching up with good friends!!!

Apple Cider “Caramel”

Meal type Condiment, Dessert
This recipe was a happy accident. I envision it being excellent over vanilla ice cream, perhaps drizzled over a bagel with cream cheese or over oven roasted sweet potato fries. The possibilities are endless!!!! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Apple Cider
  • 1 pinch Kosher Salt
  • 1 pinch Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar (divided)

Note

mmm mmm mmm blog at www.cookeatentertain.com

Directions

1. Put cider, salt, pepper and 1 Tbsp of brown sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan, stir well and bring to a boil.
2. Lower heat to medium low (low if you have a particularly hot burner) and reduce to 1 cup.
3. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, increase heat. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and reduce to 1/3 cup.