It’s been CHILLY around here lately. It was cold, then it warmed up and finally snowed and now back to 15 below. Brrrrr. When it’s cold you need warm, hot, melty goodness to warm the very soul. Or at least I do. I was casting about thinking of dinner the other night and the miserable cold and I wanted French Onion Soup yet we didn’t have cheese, bread or good grief even onions. I immediately put all of those ingredients on my shopping list. Finally, last night was the night.
I decided to add a bunch of mushrooms to the soup to bulk it up a little bit, round it out a bit. I used 3 baby bellas, about palm size, a good cup of creminis and a some dried porcinis I ground up. WOW. I will never make it any other way again. The mushrooms were tender, meaty delicious and made for a broth so delicious it didn’t need any added beef broth.
3medium baby bella mushroomsabout a 1/4 pound--cleaned and sliced thinly
1/2poundcreminiscleaned and chopped
4-6slicesof dried porcini mushroomsground to powder or about 1 TBSP of porcini powder
4ouncesbeeroptional add water instead
1loaf french bread
6-8poundslices of swiss cheeseor about a quartershredded
melt the butter over medium low heat in a large heavy bottom dutch oven
clean onions and slice in half from top to bottom
then lay cut side on cutting board and cut top to bottom
when the butter is melted add the onions and stir to coat
let slowly cook over medium low heat until they are soft, succulent and deliciously caramelized
don't let them burn or scorch
before they are completely caramelized add the fresh mushrooms and stir to incorporate continue cooking another five minutes or so
sprinkle the flour and nutmeg over the onions and mushrooms
cook and stir for a few minutes
slowly whisk in the water, coffee and beer
then whisk in the salt and porcini powder
bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so
meanwhile get 4-6 heat proof bowls ready on a baking sheet
cut as many slices of bread as you need
preheat the broiler
when the soup is done taste for salt and add as needed
then ladle it into the bowls lay a slice or two of bread on top
divide the cheese evenly between the bowls covering the bread
broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly
grind the dried porcinis in a coffee grinder that's been well wiped out or buy porcini powder-Thanks to my good friend Stephanie who turned me on to porcini powder
Yes yes yes. French onion soup definitely benefits from a healthy dose of mushrooms. I’m never going back to a version without it. Why don’t you share a meatless recipe?? If you do you’ll earn ANOTHER entry into my KitchenAid Mixer giveaway!
Did you know that white mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, baby bellas and portabellos are all the same kind mushrooms?? Well they are, each one has just been left to grow a bit longer and they get a meatier texture with age.