Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Starter: Mushroom Cream Soup with Thyme Parmesan Chips

Mushroom Cream Soup (03) by MeetaK

As Thanksgiving seems to be on everybody’s minds right now (at least all those who celebrate it), it thrilled me that my menu planner was a huge help to many of you. Furthermore, I am glad that recipes for Turkey Roulade with Cranberry Mushroom Stuffing and the Roasted Thyme Jerusalem Artichoke, Kohlrabi and Butternut Squash seemed to hit the right note with several of my readers.

Quite a few emails came fluttering into my mailbox with requests for more tips and helpful ideas. A few also asked why do I celebrate Thanksgiving? A very good question considering the fact I am Indian, married to a German and living in Germany – where does Thanksgiving fit into this picture?

Well it actually is something that goes back to the time we were living in Doha. We were going to a British school but had several American friends. My parents’ social circle also consisted of several American expatriate families and each year we were invited to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. One year my mother suggested that everyone come over to our place for Thanksgiving. It was the least she could do to show her appreciation of all the lovely kind gestures these friends had shown to us.

I think at first everyone was a bit stumped. How radical - the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving at an Indian family’s home! However, my mother as many of my regular readers will know, is a unique and talented person. She was certainly not going to let a dead bird get in her way. Although she had never prepared a turkey before she was bold enough to take on the task of inviting what I remember as an army of friends.

I also do remember the slight panic attack she had as she pondered over recipes and I very well remember how she convulsed when she actually saw the size of the bird. At that time I was not any help at all! The kitchen was a waste of time for me and I was far too busy with other activities to even consider asking my mother if she needed any help. Today I know what a task it must have been for her.

Mushroom Cream Soup (04) by MeetaK

But my mother pulled the dinner off successfully in her own unique way. Ever since then we made it a point to celebrate every year. My parents told us that there were several things that we should be thankful for and this day officially became a way for us to be grateful for the simple and not so simple things in life.

In Germany the American Thanksgiving is not really a concept. I sometimes got the feeling it was even ridiculed as just another "Ami" holiday! However, over the years it bugged me and I started inviting close friends to a elegant gathering every year. I made it a point that everyone said a few words about what they were thankful and soon this became a highlight for my close friends.

I have moved from city to city here in Germany, the coolest thing is it seems like I have left a trail of the Thanksgiving feeling behind. My friends call , telling me they miss the gatherings, a few even celebrate on their own. Here in Weimar I have found a very intimate circle of friends who have become as close as family to me. Celebrating with them each year is a joy and we have become a very efficient team, each knowing what to do.

I am thankful for all these friends who were a part of my life and helped me feel a little at home away from family. To my ever inspiring mother, who always injected the world around her with vitality, I am forever indebted.

And so it came to be that this Indian girl living in Germany with her German husband and son, celebrates this American holiday with all the gusto, frills, turkey and stuffing.  

Mushroom Cream Soup (01) by MeetaK

What caught my eye about this recipe, from one of my favorite German food magazines, for mushroom cream soup was not only the crispy thyme Parmesan chips but also that it was a perfect way to start off the meal with my turkey roulade and roasted vegetables. While mushrooms are present in the stuffing for the turkey roulade, thyme adds its aromatic flavor to the roasted vegetables. Both ingredients are also highlighted in the soup.

Mushroom Cream Soup with Thyme Parmesan Chips

Ingredients
Printable version of recipe here.

400g potatoes, diced
20g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1 1/4 l warm water for 30 minutes, reserving water
750g Crimini mushrooms, half thinly sliced, half coarsely chopped
2 onions, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
150g Parmesan cheese, grated
8-10 stems thyme, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
150g cream cheese

Method

In a large pot heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté onions until transparent. Add the chopped mushrooms and quickly stir-fry for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add potatoes, porcini mushrooms including soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for approx. 20 minutes.

In the meantime line a baking tray with waxed paper. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.

Mix half of the thyme with grated Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Using a tablespoon place small heaps of Parmesan-thyme mixture on he wax paper, leaving a few cms space in between each heap. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until parmesan has melted and look like flat discs. Set aside to cool.

Heat butter in skillet on medium heat and sauté sliced crimini mushrooms for 5-8 minutes, then add remaining thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Melt cream cheese in the soup, then using a puréeing machine, purée soup until smooth and thick. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve soup in warm bowls, with sautéed mushrooms and Parmesan chips.

 


Verdict

Mushroom Cream Soup (02) by MeetaK

Rich, strong and full of flavor, this soup is a perfect way to start off an elegant dinner. The parmesan chips are a great alternative to bread, which makes it not too filling for the rest of the meal. Spoon for spoon, one can literally smell the comforting earthy aromas of mushrooms and thyme. A pure joy!

Next up on WFLH the perfect dessert, fruity, creamy and spicy all in one. Stay tuned!

You might like these aromatic soups from WFLH:

CarrotGingerSoup2 Porcini Cream Soup 2 BellPepperSoup 03
Ginger Carrot Soup with Lemon Cream Porcini Cream Soup with Parmesan Red Bell Pepper Soup

Soups from around the blogs:

 

Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

28 comments :

  1. Meeta, the soup is so luscious! Now I'm craving mushroom soup :)

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  2. Such a gorgeous soup! Delighful and flavorful! Yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Gorgeous,I love the parmesan chips very much.Amazing soup,fabulous pics

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  4. I agree Meeta...we all have things to be thankful for and it's absolutely wonderful how you have incorporated this celebration into your life. I love this soup and the parmesan chips are a clever idea.

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  5. lovely pictures Meeta.. i have a question. .would appreciate if you can answer.. how do u make the pic size appear larger than the allowed size?

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  6. hey meeta....lovely soup...this post makes us all think "how in life we forget many things which are already given to us and still we crib for more. Reading this post made me realise to take a look around me and be thankful for all that i have"

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and ur family!

    Regards,
    Veda

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  7. Creamy mushroom soup has such a wonderful earthy flavor -- a perfect starter for the Thanksgiving meal.

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  8. What an excellent versionof mushroom soup. The parmesan crisps are a great idea when the meal will be heavy...and adding the herbs is a super idea.

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  9. Meeta, I wish I had a big bowl of that soup in front of me right now. It would definitely beat the mound of blankets I have piled on top of myself to keep warm :-\

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  10. meeta, that's a lovely soup....and i do love mushroom soup above all else.... on another note (not very original though) i wanted to tell you that you take such fabulous pictures.... kudos....

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  11. Wow that soup looks so yumm.
    I love the paresan crisp too. I have to look the net to find what Crimini mushrooms are.
    My hubby is a true mushroom soup fan i should make this for him.

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  12. I made a cream of mushroom and celery soup last night for green bean casserole for today (we're celebrating things early here because of family schedules). The base was so good that I started to moon over the idea of eating mushroom soup every day this winter. You just got me one step closer. ;)

    By the way--what is it that's so perfect about mushrooms and thyme??? Delicious. The parm chips look fabulous, too. Beautiful!

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  13. ooh, lovely idea to combine parmesan chips with a soup. The recipe sounds absolutely delicious and looks even more, Meeta! Beautiful photographs .. the navy blue of the mat sets off the color of the soup so beautifully.

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  14. the soup looks delicious :) I had Parmesan chips at a friends place recently... great combination!

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  15. I just love Thanksgiving because the emphasis is on family more than materialism. This is a gorgeous soup, which I'd gladly eat any time.

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  16. I know the parmesan chips are wonderful but with my new found love of sage and the season, I really want to try them with sage! Mushroom soup is always my favorite.
    Seems to me that a Thanksgiving Day should be the thing around the globe at least once a year . . . but I try to be aware of thanksgiving everyday. Your thoughts on it seem right on to me. I guess in some ways I don't see it as American.

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  17. I actually loved the Parmesan chips more than the soup! he entire set-up looks gorgeous Meeta! you could probably send this in for my Vegetarian thanksgiving recipe event gal:)

    Its always nice to incorporate traditions from other cultures that strike a chord - especially when its as wonderful as saying "Thanks"!!:)

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  18. Creamy mushroom soups are among my favorites and this one looks great!

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  19. what a great recipe! beautiful photos! its interesting that you use cream cheese, id love to try that. the parmesan chips sound so elegant :)

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  20. I love the floral lace. So cute. You can even grind some rich and buttery chestnuts (so in season) to the soup.

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  21. I love the look of that soup! And it sounds so wonderfully simple to put together. I'll have to add it to the to-do list. Likewise on the parmesan chips--its a great dramatic garnish!

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  22. What an elegant soup! A mushroom lovers delight. And the Parmesan chips are a nice touch.

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  23. I wish I could be at your place for Thanksgiving.

    Hey, I am linking to this post tomorrow because you have used an ingredient here that is the subject of my column.

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  24. I think mushroom soup is my favorite soup. If I had to pick one soup to eat, I think it would be mushroom!! I too am making soup to start THX; this year it will be fennel pear soup. Also very fall:).

    I hope you are well!

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  25. Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all your comments. I am so glad you are liking this soup. The thyme parmesan chips are indeed a perfect accompaniment to the soup - I prefer them to bread rolls if serving as a starter.

    Mushroom and Thyme? perfect match - but as Tanna says sage would pair well here too.

    Hope you all enjoy your Holiday!

    Hugs!

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  26. Thank you so much for sharing my lovely mushroom soup. With this parmesan /thyme
    must be yummy
    and looks very elegant!
    I'm going to do the same!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  27. I made this soup a little while again and absolutely loved it. I decided not to puree it at the end and thought it turned out great that way. Sauteed mushrooms on top were great.

    http://avocadopesto.wordpress.com/

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta