Falling Leaves + Mushroom Soup
Yesterday marked the official beginning of Fall, a season I experience mostly through nostalgia now that I live in California. As a child growing up in the Midwest, I was acutely aware of Fall’s crispness. Our family often continued living in our summer cottage well into the fall, huddling in front of a glowing red space heater as we got dressed to go to school. We piled on wooly sweaters, raked leaves, and celebrated our progress by jumping into the piles and emerging with heads full of crimson oak leaves. And when the winds became too strong and the air too cold, we retreated to our farmhouse to settle in for the winters.
Life is different in California, and the change of seasons isn’t as pronounced as it is in other parts of the country. The forecast says it will be 81 degrees here tomorrow — not that different from a Monday in April or July. The calendar is the only reminder that Fall is here…that the days are getting shorter and the mornings are slowly getting cooler.
Nonetheless, I like the idea of gearing up for Fall — marking the annual pumpkin patch trip on the calendar and digging out my cycling legwarmers and starting the Sunday ritual that marks Fall and Winter in our house — SOUP. Soup is the perfect Sunday food, requiring little active cooking time, but lots of waiting time while the water simmers and ingredients soften and flavors mingle. Here’s one of our Fall favorites, adapted from an old Bon Appetit recipe:
Wild Mushroom Soup
- 1/2 stick butter
- 2 cups finely chopped onions
- 18 oz mushrooms chopped (ideally a blend of your favorite types, but any mushrooms will work)
- 1 T chopped fresh thyme (or a bit less dried thyme)
- 4 C broth (veggie or chicken or beef)
Melt butter in large pot. Add onions, and saute until golden. Add mushrooms and thyme, and saute until mushrooms soften and brown. Slowly stir in broth and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Transfer to blender/Vitamix and blend until smooth. Transfer back to pan, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Blending this soup makes it feel decadent without needing to add any cream. And packed with niacin and riboflavin, mushrooms are a great way to usher in a Fall Sunday. Happy Solstice!
What’s your favorite Fall recipe?