After the excess of holiday celebration, it's hard to resist the allure of lighter dishes. Yet, January continues to be chilly here in Canada so I can't help but get drawn to comfort food. This week's recipe at French Fridays With Dorie strikes the perfect balance with Paris Mushroom Soup. The smooth cream-less soup packs huge taste by drawing every ounce of flavour from mushrooms, onions, garlic, and white wine. There's a hint of rosemary and parsley in the background to keep things fresh. However, what really sets this soup apart is the garnish.
Garnish is often an after-thought but it is not the case in this dish. A mound of mushroom salad topped with creme fraiche is set in each soup plate. Just before serving, the hot soup is ladled into the plate to lightly cook the sliced mushrooms, chives, parsleys, and scallions for a wonderful mixture of raw and cooked. I love the little bit of richness added by the creme fraiche as it slowly swirled into the soup. This elegant presentation is fit for any dinner party.
Confession time: this soup totally brought out the perfectionist in me. Slicing one and a half pound of mushrooms for the soup was great drill for knife skills. It prepared me well when it came time to make the mushroom salad. I have never sliced mushroom so uniformly thin before! Even chopping the herbs was meditative in a way. My background in pastry demands that I do not just casually throw a handful of the salad on the plate. Instinctively, I took out my cake ring and pointy chopsticks. Each mound of salad was created meticulously by filling the ring just so. And then I made tiny quenelle of creme fraiche with two espresso spoons to perch on top of the salad just so. As a finishing touch, a few choice pieces of herbs to sit proudly on the creme fraiche just so. Oh dear, I thought I got over this perfectionist phase but apparently I was wrong. I eat with my eyes as much as with my mouth.
This Paris Mushroom Soup marks the triumphant return of immersion blender to my kitchen. I've been lamenting the loss of my previous two for quite some time. When I saw the bright sunny yellow model at Sur La Table for a very reasonable price, it came home with me. Its convenience in making creamy smooth soup is really incomparable. I'm excited at the thought of revisiting many of my favourite soup recipes!