A mushroom velouté is just what we need for the month of november. I used the ordinary champignon de Paris, the button mushroom, but the bolet from Bordeaux also makes an excellent velouté for a special evening since it is rather on the expensive side. If you are looking for a quick and inexpensive, but still delicious meal, this soup is it. It tastes of earth and forest and spectacular colours.
- 1 large onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- olive oil
- 500 g champignon de Paris(button mushrooms)
- 500 ml chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian option)
- 3Tsbp créme fraîche or thick cream
- grated nutmeg
- fresh thyme
- Peel and slice the onion. Peel and cut the garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic in a pot in some olive oil until translucent. Take care not to burn the garlic.
- Clean and slice the mushrooms and add to the onions.
- Add the chicken stock and thyme leaves and simmer for 30 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
- Remove from the heat and mix with an electric blender until smooth.
- Add the cream and stir through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and grated nutmeg.
- Place back on heat and simmer on low heat for another 5- 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with toasted wholewheat country bread.
- Fry some coppa italian ham and serve on top of the soup.
- Keep some mushrooms aside and fry to serve on top of the soup.
- Replace the button mushrooms with cépes mushrooms (porcini mushrooms). Keep some aside and fry to serve on top with chopped fresh italian parsley.
Serves 4 people
Two mushrooms, oil on board, 15x15cm
November is still a beautiful month where all the leaves hang on for the last show of autumn. Greens and ochres and siennas come together in a magnificent explosion against bright and dark skies. Winds blow, the mist hang low in the valleys and heavy skies are preparing for winter rains. It is the month to store away garden furniture, bring fragile plants indoors and light evening fires. November is not really autumn any more, but it is not yet winter. It is whatever you want it to be.
Tomato velouté is my most favorite soup. Since childhood I loved my mother’s creamed tomato soup. In summer it is gazpacho and in winter a velvety soup.
The recipe is so easy…I can only say what I used and then it is up to your own taste. Taste and taste and taste again. Unlike for a summer gazpacho, I don’t use fresh tomatoes for the soup. They are bland and tasteless. I use good quality Italian canned tomatoes which make a rich flavorful soup. It would be perfect if you have bottled your own tomatoes in summer.
- A large can of tomatoes make about 2 to 3 large helping(2 of those helpings are mine…). Add to a saucepan with a bouquet garni, the juice and grated zest of 1 orange, 1 TBSP of sherry(Jerez) vinegar and 2 cubes of sugar. Rinse the can with 1 cup of vegetable stock and add to the soup.
- Simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool a little and mix with a hand blender to a creamy soup.
- Remove the bouquet garni and adjust the seasoning…orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Fry some scallops only on one side and season with salt and pepper. Remove and keep aside. Deglaze the pan with some freshly squeezed orange juice .
- Serve the soup in warmed soup plates. Place a scallop, cut in half in the soup and drizzle the juice from the pan over the scallops.
- Decorate with a slice of orange and serve immediately.
A visit from Jack Frost.
Mr Jack Frost showed up this morning. Totally unexpected. He just showed up without any call beforehand, without any warning. I actually find that a bit rude, just showing up like that at someone’s door and at a very indecent hour in the morning at that! But there he was in all his glory when I opened the door this morning. I couldn’t control the shiver that ran instantly through my body. We expected him, but I so hoped he would skip his visit to us this year. Alas…
A very interesting character he is, this Jack Frost. Definitely not someone to take on without gloves. But speak of handsome! He has a disarming charm that cannot be missed, even if he’s rather cold and sometimes somewhat foggy and distant. Definitely not a boring character. But as handsome and charming as he is, he has a slippery side that I just don’t trust. I always feel unsure of my step around him. I have lost my balance around him before which resulted in me seeing my own butt and bright stars all at the same time. I’ve learnt my lesson since…don’t be fooled by the charisma of Mr Jack Frost!
I sighed heavily on the sight of Jack Frost in front of me, just outside my barn door. Bof OK, he’s here, what else could I do but accept his arrival…after all, we are known for our hospitality here at Coin Perdu! So I decided to make the best of it. I dug into my linen closet for extra warm linens and blankets and duvets, all the time thanking the good Lord that this guest only shows up once a year and immensely grateful that he doesn’t stay the whole year. Now that would be unbearable!
I wondered how long Mr Frost would stay this time? I didn’t dare ask for fear I wouldn’t like the answer. In any case, the sun came out and he took the road. I had no idea where he had gone off to or when we would see him again. He is like that, this Mr Frost…always takes off somewhere when the sun shines and returns in the early hours the next morning. Oh well, he’s here now for some time. I might as well accept it and make the most of it. I think I’ll go make a tomato soup for tonight. Mr Jack Frost will be cold when he gets in. Tomato soup will make him happy