Just in case you think I’m exaggerating, let me say two words: roasted mushrooms. Oh, and roasted onions. And roasted garlic. Did I mention the roasted mushrooms? And herbs! Fresh thyme and sage. And wine. Because there is always wine. Ok, that was more than two words. But wow.
I cook a lot—I like to cook—but there are only a few recipes that make it into my personal canon. These are the best of the best, the tip of the top, my go-to, these-just-make-life-better, recipes.
These recipes are easy—things that I just throw together–but although basic, they are somehow so fundamental that they are just perfect. These are the recipes that could work for something fancy or for a cozy weeknight at home. Recipes that aren’t about eating—well, not just about eating—they’re more about my idea of living. They are simple, healthy, elegant. I call them classy, though I can’t quite define that term. These are the flavors that just click with me–the recipes that I can see myself making in ten years, in twenty years, for kids, for grandkids, writing ingredient lists out on recipe cards that will be taped to refrigerators just like my Grannie’s recipe cards are on mine.
Anyway… this is one of those recipes. This is adapted (pretty closely, but with a few tweaks) from Amy’s recipe at She Wears Many Hats so… hats off to her.
And without further ado: Roasted Mushroom and Bean Soup
Here’s what you need:
16-20 oz. of mushrooms, roughly chopped into large pieces*
2 large sweet onions, quartered (leave the pieces large and don’t separate the layers)
3 cloves of garlic, slightly crushed
2 tbsp of olive oil
8-10 sage leaves*
8-10 thyme stalks and leaves*
6 cups of chicken broth **
3 cans of white beans, undrained
1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
* Next time I make this, I plan to use some canned or jarred mushrooms in addition to fresh, and to substitute dried herbs for the fresh. This wasn’t terribly expensive, but fresh mushrooms and fresh herbs keep it a little beyond the present budgetary restrictions.
** Exchange the chicken broth for vegetable to make this vegetarian
Here’s what you do:
1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.) Toss onion and garlic with 1 tbsp of olive oil, spread on a baking sheet; toss mushroom with 1 tbsp of olive oil, spread on another baking sheet. (Both are going in the oven at the same time, so choose baking sheets accordingly.) Sprinkle contents of both baking sheets with about 1 tsp of salt and pepper and herbs. 3.) Roast onion, garlic and mushroom in oven for 10 minutes, then toss and roast for another 15 minutes.
4.) Meanwhile, back at the castle… Combine chicken broth and beans in a large stock pot, heat to medium heat. Toss in a bit of salt and pepper and let it all simmer while the veggies are finishing. Go ahead and add the white wine, if you are using it. 5.) Separate 2 cups of beans (a slotted spoon works wonderfully) and 1 cup of broth from the simmering pot and transfer to your blender. Add the roasted onion and garlic and puree until smooth.
6.) Add the pureed beans and onions back to the stock pot, add the roasted mushrooms to the stock pot, let it all simmer for a few minutes while you’re toasting some bread…