4.15.2011

Thrifty Thursday: Creamy Leek & Wild Mushroom Bisque with Artisan Cheese Board

While looking through the Thrifty Thursday archives for another fun dinner idea to share for this week, I realized two prominent trends... I seem to have an affinity for wild mushrooms and Mexican-inspired cuisine! Whether or not this is a problem, you'll have to decide for yourself, but it looks like I have to do something drastic in order to break out of my rut.

 If I am successful or not, we will find out next week- but for now, I wanted to share one of Dan's favorites that we discovered while my family was in town this past Christmas, but have recreated several times as a yummy, comfort meal. This savory soup recipe yields 6-8 servings, but it's great for lunch-leftovers and it freezes well, so enjoy some tonight  and as a quick homemade meal in weeks to come!



Creamy Leek & Wild Mushroom Bisque
$12 makes 6+ servings

1c mixed wild mushrooms (shitake, cremini, portabello, oyster, etc), chopped
1oz dried porcini mushrooms, chopped (chopping while dry is easier!)
2 leeks, finely sliced
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4c vegetable broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsbp butter
1/2c heavy cream
1/2tsp thyme, finely chopped
salt, pepper to taste
fresh thyme to garnish

1. Soak porcinis in 1c warm water for 30 mins. Chop, slice, prep all ingredients.
2. Thoroughly squeeze porcinis, save liquid and set aside. 
3. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan until melted. Add leeks, shallots, garlic, sautee for 5mins.
4. Add fresh mushrooms, stir over medium heat until soft. Slowly pour in broth, bring to a boil.
5. Add porcinis, liquid, thyme, salt, pepper. Simmer for 30mins.
6. In a blender or food processor, puree 3/4 of the soup until smooth and creamy.
7. Return soup to saucepan and do a quick taste test (need more salt? good consistency?)
8. Garnish with fresh thyme sprig, serve with toasted baguette and a glass o' Pino!








Artisan Cheeses, Olives, and Figs...oh my!

Fellow cheese fans, rejoice! Now indulging in gourmet and specialty cheeses from around the world is easier and more affordable than you thought! There's a good chance that your local grocery store has a specialty cheese counter where they sell selections by the pound, but they often cut off too much, too little, or have small 1-5oz portions left that they sell as 'samples'. I picked up a few different kinds from Whole Foods for about $2 each, and paired them with dried figs and mixed olives for a tasty appetizer!


We got to try Ford Farms Seaside Cheddar, Aged Parmesan, and creamy Dill Havarti. The olives are from the gourmet olive bar at Whole Foods and the figs can be found on the bulk aisle. All together, this tasty spread cost about $10... the perfect pairing for an at-home wine tasting or snack!


Psst...stick this in your Valentine's Day idea reserve... when you cut dried California figs lengthwise, they form a natural heart-shape! Cute! 




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