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Quick Help - Bourdain's Mushroom Soup


orangewasabi
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Am I simmering with the lid on or off?  Does it matter?

(newbie cook here, working her way thru the old Soup thread)

Since he doesn't say one way or the other, I would guess it doesn't matter. Gee, it's been a while since I made that one. It is a very nice soup, by the way. I probably did it half-way, and left the lid partly on the pan.

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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That's my fave mushroom soup recipe -- no chopping of shrooms at all! I'd straddle the fence and leave the top on, with a small crack open to let some of the steam escape.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Thanks folks!

I actually had to prop the lid to maintain a simmer (after madly googling to find out what a simmer really was and finding out there were to be NO steam bubbles breaking, liquid barely moving)

gah! this cooking stuff is technical

k!

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Thanks folks!

I actually had to prop the lid to maintain a simmer  (after madly googling to find out what a simmer really was and finding out there were to be NO steam bubbles breaking, liquid barely moving)

gah! this cooking stuff is technical

Try not to sweat it, and don't get yourself too nutso over cooking. Soups are probably one of the easiest things to try. It certainly doesn't matter if it doesn't come out exactly like the recipe says, as long as you like the way it ends up. Pay attention to what you're doing, and try to 'taste' things in your mind, to see if you think something will work or not for you. I also 'cheat' and have some chicken and beef bases in my fridge. I'm too lasy to cook and freeze stocks. Even if what I'm cooking isn't chicken or beef based, a teaspoon or so of base-- you don't need much!-- can make the difference between a soup that's full-tasting as opposed to watery. I've used Tone's and Minor's-- I like the fullness they add and they're not salty tasting. But most importantly-- try to have fun!

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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Hi orangewasabi,

I made this recipe with the lid off, and it turned out beautifully. I wouldn't worry too much either way, as long as you're happy with the result! I sure love that cookbook.

_Jesse Williamson ;-};

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thanks for the encouragment and the tips.

had to laugh though at your < Pay attention to what you're doing, >

I think that's the hardest thing about cooking. I had to restart this soup because I got distracted at the first stage and let my onions go brown. Don't know if that'd be a deal breaker or not, but it wasn't too long of a redo, so I did it.

k!

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Hi orangewasabi,

I made this recipe with the lid off, and it turned out beautifully. I wouldn't worry too much either way, as long as you're happy with the result! I sure love that cookbook.

_Jesse Williamson ;-};

I'm going to check out the cookbook. The soup turned out quite nicely so if there are other equally easy and tasty recipes in that cookbook, it might be worth trying for me.

and I'll be wild next time and leave the lid off :-)

k!

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thanks for the encouragment and the tips.

had to laugh though at your < Pay attention to what you're doing, > 

I think that's the hardest thing about cooking.  I had to restart this soup because I got distracted at the first stage and let my onions go brown.  Don't know if that'd be a deal breaker or not, but it wasn't too long of a redo, so I did it.

oohhh! See, that's just the kind of thing not to worry about! As long as those onions weren't burned black and bitter, they probably would have been fine in the soup, as long as you liked how it tasted. Later today when I get the chance, I'll explain how I made my ham and bean soup yesterday. Maybe seeing that will help explain a bit more about 'taking it easy' with cooking. I don't even know if it's a 'classic' ham and bean soup, but it tasted like ham and beans, I liked the way it turned out and that's what's important.

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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Hi-- I'm back again. I'll forge on, of course assuming that you're interested in how I made my soup. And what I should have said in an earlier post was more 'Pay attention to how things taste' even more than to what you're doing. Anyways, on to my soup. I did have a quart of turkey stock in the freezer, from the Thanksgiving turkey bones. OK, so occasionally I will make stock from something like that. I just don't normally stash bones to make a stock.

So-- I had the turkey stock, and a nice big couple bones from the NY's day ham. The ham bones smelled strong enough to overpower the turkey stock flavor, but I thought that would add to the soup's body. This past Sunday I put them in a pot and added enough water to just cover the bones. I learned from a stocks and sauce cooking class to simmer the bones gently for several hours. I also added a chopped carrot, onion, celery stalk, and bay leaf and some pepper. I didn't add salt yet because I didn't know how salty it would be from the ham bone. I let it simmer for about 3-4 hours. I did add some water a couple hours in to bring the liquid level back up. I strained the solids from the broth, let it cool a bit, then put it in containers in the fridge. There wasn't much meat on the bones, and the veggies were pretty much dead, so I didn't pick out what little bits of meat there were. I figured all that flavor was in the stock anyway.

So yesterday afternoon, after the plumber left ( which is why I wasn't at work), I pulled out the containers. I put a bit of bacon fat and olive oil in a stock pot-- maybe a teaspoon of fat and a tablespoon of oil--heated that up, and added a chopped onion, 2 carrots, celery stalk and a garlic clove. Let that gently saute for a bit and added the stock. In the fridge there was also a container with about a half cup or so of 'pork jelly'-- strained juices from a pork roast from Christmas. I thought it should still be ok since it was sealed under a good half inch of pork fat. Took off the fat, and the 'jelly' was fine, and solid. Threw that in the soup since I probably wasn't going to use it for anything else in the near future.

Let that simmer for a bit, then tasted the broth. It tasted hammy enough, so I didn't use any base. I realized that I need to point out something-- when I use chicken base ( usually that for soup), I'm not trying to make the soup taste chickeny. The only way I can think to explain it is, adding a bit helps round out the flavors, it helps make a full taste rather than watery. (This would be where paying attention to the taste would come in.) I've even used it in seafood chowders that I've made-- it just helps the fullness of a soup sometimes.

OK- where was I? OK-- all has simmered for a bit, but it's looking like a broth with veggies in it, and I want kind of a creamy looking soup with ham bits and beans. I also realized I didn't have much ham left from the NY's ham, but I happened to have some nice slices in the freezer. Took them out, thawed and trimmed them, then cut them up in smallish bits. It looked like more than enough for a decent distribution in the soup, so I threw in a handful of ham and one rinsed can of cannellini beans. Used the immersion blender on it till it was pretty smooth, thicker and creamy looking, then added the rest of the ham and another can of rinsed beans. I did add some salt and pepper, and a bit of cayenne-- not too much since my sister's not too fond of hot foods. She came home from work, tried some and thought it could use something else-- maybe some hot sauce! That was a surprise! We'll just add that to each bowl though, I think. Well, I hope this wasn't too long winded, orangewasabi, and I hope it helps! Have fun!

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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Hi-- I'm back again.  I'll forge on, of course assuming that you're interested in how I made my soup.  . . .

that was totally fun to read.

and maybe even encouraging enough to try.

it cracks me up though, when you all are so chilled out about cooking. you're so intuitive about cooking and have all this interesting stuff in your fridge

cooking to taste though IS a principle that makes sense though, since I've good practice at eating :-)

thanks,

k!

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