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.
A beetroot velouté, or creamy beetroot soup, is apart from delicious, also beautiful. Served as a starter in the way of a cappuccino, is a beautiful way to kick off an autumn or winter dinner. It is actually a good idea to always eta small starter of soup with any home dinner..it is healthy and helps fill one and so prevents over eating.
Pincée de sel:
- Younger beetroots give a deeper colour, are sweeter and softer. If possible, use small beets.
- Raw beets cab be replaced by ready cooked vacuum packed beets.
- add different spices for a more wintery touch…cardamom seeds, star anis, cinnamon, croriander – add together in a small muslin bag so it can be removed afterwards.
- To make froth with a machine: whisk a small amount(about 150 ml) milk in a high microwave proof) container. whisk vigorously until it starts foaming. Place in the microwave immediately. Heat the milk while keeping your eye on the milk all the time. The froth will start to rise high. Remove from the microwave and scoop the froth from the milk.
- Use vegetable stock to make it a vegetarian soup.
- A scoop of créme fraìche, or a scoop of whipped cream can be used, which will make the soup creamier and heavier.
- Ideal for a starter.
…and November in reds.
The artist in my appreciates November as the most beautiful month in the year. It is the most challenging and gratifing time of the year for painting, photographing, hunting for mushrooms in the woods, watching the leaves turn form green to yellow to red to purple to brown and finally float to the ground. No other season gives us this fast forward motion action of change in nature and it passes before your eyes from one minute to another.
…The stinky mushroom, Anthurus d’archer in bright autumn/winter red…
..la vigne vierge with its leaves turning red in autumn and a artistic spiderweb blinking in the morning light..
..foliage of vigne vierge, the attractive seedheads of Cleramtis vitalba, and stinging nettle in their natural environment..
..the stunning reds of hydrangea leaves in November..
..Ivy hugging a fallen vigne vierge red leaf..
à al prochaine fois