Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm a Barefoot Blogger!

Prior to the birth of our bundle of joy #4, and prior to embarking on my new "little hobby" you just happen to be reading, I used to watch TV and The Food Network was one of my favorite channels. Of all the wonderful shows on that network, the Barefoot Contessa was one of my absolute favorites. Ina Garten was always making beautiful food from fresh, simple ingredients (most of the time, anyway - sometimes she went crazy with the gourmet stuff, but not often). So when I learned there was an online baking group working through her recipes, I knew that I had to join.

This week's recipe, Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup was selected by Chelle at Brown Eyed Baker and to be honest, I wasn't looking that forward to it. I was kind of bummed that my first Barefoot Bloggers recipe was for something I could only imagine using to make this:

But oh, was I so mistaken in that oversimplified association! Ina's version of this creamy soup is chock full of wonderfully flavorful mushrooms and leeks (a favorite soup-vegetable of mine!). It came together so nicely and the flavors were sublime. And I love recipes that call for wine - I always make sure to follow Justin Wilson's advice and have a little for me. "I ga-ron-teee it tastes more better."

I ended up making half of the recipe and, in an effort to try to cut back on the fat content, I made the following changes:

  • The recipe calls for sauteing the veggies in olive oil and butter for the stock - I eliminated the butter;

  • For the leeks and mushrooms, I only used one Tbsp of butter;

  • I used 3/4 cup low-fat half and half and only 1/4 cup heavy cream.

  • And finally, I have to thank Rachael Ray for showing me how to properly clean leeks (and, totally unrelated, for the idea of using a garbage bowl). I know some people don't like her, but I think she's great and thanks to her, I don't have gritty leeks in my soup.

I just wish it were like, 30 degrees cooler (it was 85 today) - I'm too cheap to turn the air back on so it was very warm in the house by the time I had finished making this. Even in the heat, this soup was magnificent and I thoroughly enjoyed it for dinner last night.

The kids on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with it whatsoever. Fine by me - this is what they had instead (and all was right with the world in their eyes)

And yes, those are in fact dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. I'm sure (er, I hope) I'm not the only foodie-Mom who feeds her children something quite less than what Ina would expect.

Be sure to go and check out how the other Barefoot Bloggers did here.


Cathy said...

BWAAAAAAHHHH!!! I just spit my coffee out, Laura!!! We are clearly living parellel lives. We must hide these posts from Ina -- I am sure that she could never have imagined that her elegant Cream of Wild Mushroom soup would somehow inspire not one, but two references to dino nuggets! In any event, now you know that you are most certainly NOT the only foodie mom who feeds her kids something less than Ina would expect (although I think the kids' meal looks perfectly healthy and balanced -- you've got your veggies, your protein, your stegosaurus). If we lived closer, I'd invite you over -- we could drink wine and eat wild mushroom soup together, and the kids could feast on dinosaur nuggets and ketchup.

Your soup looks great! I'm so glad you're Barefoot Blogging now!

Prudy said...

Yes-this reminds me of the tortefeasor! My kids would have loved the nuggest too. I think one of them had toast and the other had the bit of soup that I'd converted to cream of corn. Your soup looks wonderful and I love your lightened changes.

Jamie said...

That soups looks delicious! I am so excited for brisk weather and big pots of soup! :)

Suzie said...

And you know one day the kids won't believe you when you tell that they knocked back homemade soup for dino nuggets!

webbie said...

Welcome to the BBs. Your soup looks yummy and I loved the dino nuggets.

Kate said...

Welcome, fellow Barefoot Blogger! I hope you enjoy the group.

Your soup looks really marvelous. I lightened mine as well and it didn't suffer a'tall. Like you, I love mushrooms but cream of mushroom soup? Isn't that just for leftover casseroles? Fortunately, I was really happy with a REAL recipe for the soup and brought it for lunch today. It tastes even better 24 hours later.

I'm in the "Rachael Ray is Annoying" camp, but, that is a great tip for cleaning the leeks, which I love. I'll use that tip next time. And, giving credit where it's due, I liked RR's method for roasting Brussels sprouts best, so I do use that recipe. Her cooking is fine, I just don't like listening to her, is all, so that's where the cookbooks come in handy. :)

Natashya said...

My boys were nugget guys too. Now it is homemade pizzas and hamburgers. They are bigger than me now but still picky.
Luckily my daughter is adventurous. (but lactose intolerant - I can't win!)
Glad you liked the soup. I agree, everything is better with wine - did you put some in the soup too?

Anne said...

My kid doesn't eat what I make either. :) Oh well, your soup looks wonderful! Welcome to Barefoot Bloggers!

Debinhawaii said...

Welcome to the BBs. Your soup looks wonderful--great pictures by the way. I wish I had lightened mine a bit!

Mary Ann said...

Your soup looks lovely and I love the tip from RR. I think she is great too. A little spunky, but she knows her stuff!

Cynthia's Blog said...

Keep offering them the gourmet delights from your kitchen! Their palates will become every bit as sophisticated as my girls have developed. My girl devoured some baby crookneck squash I sauteed in garlic, tomato, a splash of white wine and parm/regg tonight. Cute blog, and nice job on the soup.

Vickie said...

Your mushroom soup looks wonderful. Welcome, cozy soup weather. It's dinner time here and it's making feel a litte dissatisfied with what I'm making tonight. I just started a new cooking blog. I went to register what I thought was an awesome title and guess what?... it was already yours. Oh well. I think your blog looks great.

Matt's Kitchen said...

Hey, I just joined B.B. too. I can't wait to start cooking. I have all of her cookbooks already and have many favorites.

I also love the fact that it's only two recipes a month. I'm looking forward to reading your posts!