Opportunistic Mushroom Soup
by Susu and Runt
This recipe was created the day the Rebels broke Coruscant free from Imperial control. Hungry, they raided the refrigerators in the Palace and found rich, unctuous leftovers from a grand buffet given several nights before. Racking their brains, they discovered they had the makings for the ultimate Mushroom Soup. It takes some planning, but its not impossible, and it's well worth it, even if you only make some of the components just for this soup. Proportions can be changed depending on what you have as leftovers. For an elegant soup, purée before adding the cream. But it's great chunky, too! NB: Break the steps down over time, so that making this soup is not a single, big production!
Sautéed, whole mushrooms au jus
A grated mixture of scallions and ginger, in oil
Instant Biscuit Mix (just add milk!)
In case your refrigerator doesn't have these things, here's how to make them:
A While Before Soup
Make a roux for thickening soups and gravies. Melt a quantity of fat and add an equal volume of flour. Stir together over medium-low heat until the flour starts to brown and the mixture is texturally homogeneous. Remove from heat and let cool before putting it into a jar. Seal tightly and store in the refrigerator. Use a big spoonful to thicken soups and gravies effectively.
Up to a Week Before Soup
In a large saucepan, melt olive oil and butter, about a tablespoon of each. Add trimmed (but never washed!) mushrooms, between 1 to 2 lbs. If using larger ones, tear them into smaller pieces, otherwise leave them whole. Over medium-low heat, cover the pot and allow mushrooms to heat and stew, stirring occasionally. Let cook until the mushrooms lose about half their volume and there's plenty of juice exuded. If desired, store in a jar or container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
A Day or So Before Soup, at Least a Day Before Biscuits
Separate 1 lb. of bacon slices on a roasting pan and cook in the oven to your liking. Soft is fine. Remove the bacon from the fat, and leave the fat and drippings in the pan. Allow to cool.
A Day or So Before Soup
Mix together one batch of biscuits, using Bisquik (follow box directions for family-size recipe) or your favorite batch of instant or from-scratch biscuits. Place the biscuits directly on the cold bacon fat and drippings in the roasting pan, and cook in the oven till browned. Remove the biscuits, and leave the remaining stuff in the pan, and add an inch of water while hot, to soak off the drippings. Scrape when loosened. Save liquid and loosened bits in a screw-top jar till ready to make the soup.
Day of Soup
1) Chop one sweet onion, like Maya or Vidalia or Maui.
2) In a large pot, heat a teaspoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter, till the butter melts and foams a bit. Add the onions and sauté till translucent.
3) Chop two or three garlic cloves and add to the onions. If possible, also add a chopped scallion and some grated fresh ginger. If you don't have these, don't worry about it and skip them.
4) Add cooked mushrooms and their juice, scrape up the pan drippings from where the bacon and biscuits were cooked and add those to the pot. If there is any leftover bacon, chop that fine and add to the soup. Stir and allow to boil.
5) When boiled, add roux, appropriate to how much liquid there is and how thick you like your soup. Boil and stir until thickened. Taste and correct for seasonings.
6) To finish, stir in milk or cream, to taste.
7) Serve hot with bacon biscuits, which can be treated as big croutons if they are not fresh.
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