|Mushrooms & onions for the freezer|
I bought another pound of white mushrooms, chopped them fine in a blender with water, and put the resulting slurry on the stove to cook with just a little salt.
|One chicken's worth of meat|
While letting the new mushroom broth simmer (and man does it smell mushroomy!), I re-boiled the blendered chicken broth with a little salt and a large sprig of rosemary. The smell of cold chicken made me decide to change course with the spicing - more a gut reaction than anything else. Both broths simmered for about 60-90 minutes. (I didn't mean to let them go so long but got caught in conversation with a neighbor.... fortunately they were on very low heat, so they just concentrated and didn't burn!)
|Everything in the pot, ready|
for the final simmer.
I checked the flavor occasionally, which became much fuller after the veggies started to add sweetness and bitterness to the broth. After an hour of simmering I felt like it could use diluting, so added about 3 more pints of water.
Finally, after a good long simmer it's ready to cool and store (fridge half, freezer half). I was worried about their not being enough green in the soup so I got some chard while picking up extra mushrooms. I'm glad I didn't feel compelled to use it, because I was a little worried over how its unique bitterness would play off the other flavors. I'm familiar with using other greens in soups and stews, but chard is an unknown to me. I'll have to use it soon tho, so perhaps chard in the next project! I also got some pasta stars for starching up the soup in case it was too thin, but felt in the end that the long strands of enokitake and chicken meat (from the pieces I chopped along the grain) were plenty of texture. The contrasting texture of the stars would have been overkill, and the extra starch might have been ruinous.
It is a perfectly tasty and serviceable soup for lunch leftovers over the next week or two. A very nice flavor and texture palate dominated by chickeny goodness. Unfortunately the mushroom broth didn't stand out as much as I'd hoped, and the rosemary doesn't seem to be making much of a palate appearance at all. I'm glad I didn't try to curry it up after all with coriander and chili. I think if I'd skimmed some chicken fat before blendering the stock, or doubled up again the amount of mushroom stock, it would probably be more the balance flavor combo I was going for. Live and learn.
|The final product|
Out of this project I learned (or was reminded of) a few things:
- Be careful with starting in multiple pots - it might have been a more successful flavor combination if I'd worked with the chicken and mushrooms as one broth, and I might not have been compelled to overuse the onions to bolster the mushroom stock in the first place
- Pureed mushroom sounds like an excellent starting point for the next soup!
- Keep it simple. I got caught up in trying to fix a mistake and ended up buying ingredients I didn't need for the project at hand. I'll make use of them, but I'm glad I exercised restraint in not adding the chard or pasta till I saw how the original plan (albeit with slightly different proportions than intended) turned out.