I love soup, and when the weather starts turning cool I try to eat soup as often as possible. A lot of people will choose the salad when given the choice, but I often go with the soup as a first course, especially if it’s all made from scratch.
My three favorite soups:
3) Cream of Artichoke soup at The Messina Hof Vintage House in Bryan, Texas. The restaurant there is hit or miss, but the cream of artichoke will change your life.
2) Red Chicken Curry at Samui Thai in Plano, Texas. I judge thai food joints based on their curry, and Samui always is rock solid. The bamboo shoots and aubergine are incredible. I’m not sure if you can really count this as a soup, but it’s my list so I make the rules.
1) Chicken and Mushroom soup. Right here, right now. Buckle up.
Here is the ingredient list (for the most part):
Make a classic mirepoix, which is diced onion, celery, and carrot. I cut these in random sizes for texture. Melt 3tblsn unsalted butter and then throw in the mirepoix and salt. Caution: you are going to add a lot of salt to this dish, but you want to do a little as you go. The salt will help reduce the vege.
Once the carrots start getting soft, add a bunch of garlic. I did four cloves here, but you could go with more if you are a garlic geek. Keep it moving so it doesn’t burn. We are going to use three types of mushrooms here: shitake, oyster, and plain ol’ white button mushrooms, all sliced in a rough chop. Clean the mushrooms WITHOUT water (rub them down w/a towel to remove the dirt). Once you get them sliced, toss them in. Shitake:
And into the pot with more salt. The shitake have this great beefy taste, the oyster a buttery chewy taste, and the buttons are just a great all around mushroom. If the vege start to look dry, add a little bit of olive oil. It should look like this:
When the mushrooms all start looking soft, add a tspn of red curry paste.
This is what I use. Now, it’s not a thai dish, but we do want a bit of the thai spice that it’s hard to combine with anything other than the paste.
Add the curry paste and toss the mixture to make sure it’s good and mixed in. Let it cook down for a few minutes, then add some white wine. How much? Hell, I don’t know. About that much:
Let that simmer for about five minutes and then add ½ chicken, chopped up. I just used one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store. I think the flavor was Garlic Herb. By “1/2 chicken”, I mean ½ breast, a leg, thigh, and then all the dark meat from the back. That’s some of the tastiest meat on the bird.
Then add 6oz of tomato sauce.
And about 6oz of chicken broth.
Simmer for 5 minutes or so, stirring regularly. We are looking for the liquid to reduce down quite a bit. Once you get it so that you can see the moisture but it’s not standing in broth, add 1c of heavy cream:
And 1c of half and half:
Of course, you’ll need to add more salt. Go ahead and grind some pepper in this as well. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or so, add chicken broth to keep the liquid at a soupy consistency. It should look like this:
Get some parmesan cheese (not the cheap powdered crap…get grated parm), and add a cup or so. How much? Hell, I don’t know. About this much:
Cut the heat down to low, and let it simmer for yet another 10 minutes.
The cheese should finish off the flavor. Toast up some French bread and sprinkle on some fresh parsley, and you have one of the most delicious things you’ve ever tasted.
That’s it. The best soup I’ve ever tasted.