sourdough baguettes japanese potato salad seared duck breast with morels and asparagus braised rhubarb

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archive for January 2nd, 2013

ski out ski in

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Recipe: cream of mushroom soup

Happy new year, my butterlings! I hope you all rang in 2013 in various fabulous ways. We kept it low-key partly because we were tired from a day of ski touring and mostly because we are boring. I like it that way.

snow on new year’s eve

lovely wondrous sparkling flakes of snow

It snowed here on New Year’s Eve and not just any snow, but the kind that falls as giant fluffy flakes and doesn’t stick to anything because it’s so dry and cold. They sparkled in the sunlight like diamonds falling from the sky and when you looked at the ground you could see perfectly preserved crystals glistening back at you, winking. Piles of delicate snowflakes slid over my skis as I glided along the trail through the woods. Jeremy and I would seek out pockets of deep snow and whoop and holler diving into the sugary stashes.

skiing out: a great way to see 2012 off

skiing into 2013 on new year’s day

I don’t typically make resolutions on the new year, but over the holidays I spent a little more time away from the interwebz and it was fantastic. It’s a good thing to assess where and more importantly how your time is invested. So that may be one of the things I change up… stepping away more often from the whole navel-gazing vortex of social media and taking that time to concentrate on other things, like my well-being. Who knows. I’m still feeling 2013 out, but I think I’m headed in the right direction. That direction also includes soup, because it’s winter and soup is good food – particularly when you make it yourself.

criminis, dried porcinis, shitakes, onion, butter, garlic, white pepper, salt, herbs, cashews, chicken broth

thyme and sage

I foraged a good deal of porcinis this past summer with my friend, Wendy. I told her to keep most of those mushrooms because I just didn’t have the time to deal with them and the worst possible thing you could do after acquiring such precious forage is to let them go bad, go to waste. Wendy is a real champ and she immediately processed untold quantities of the summer porcini harvest and presented me with a couple of jars of dried porcinis this fall… our porcinis! Sure you can purchase dried porcinis in the store, but can you hold a jar of your summer spent clambering along the wooded slopes of the mountains, popping huckleberries into your mouth as you scour the ground for porcinis?

dried porcinis

rehydrate with boiling water

I waited until winter to use my porcinis, when I knew the aroma would be most welcome after a day of backcountry ski touring. If you’ve never used dried porcini mushrooms, you should know that the soaking liquid is not to be discarded, ever. That soaking liquid is also known as liquid gold. It’s a heady broth with the concentrated essence of porcinis, this lovely umami. So make sure you keep that.

sliced garlic and onion

garlic, onion, porcini broth, porcinis, sliced fresh shitakes, sliced fresh criminis

**Jump for more butter**