For Christmas this year I received the cookbook Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. It’s a gorgeous book and so many of the recipes sound wonderful. The problem is, it’s a vast book, and trying to decide what to make is difficult with so many good-sounding recipes to choose from. I feel like there are whole chapters in the book that I have hardly even looked at yet.
To help myself get to know the cookbook, I have decided to participate in French Fridays with Dorie. The idea is this: all participants cook a selected recipe each week and then post about it on Friday. This week’s recipe was Paris Mushroom Soup (page 72, for those who have the book).
I really wanted to love this soup. Dorie’s description makes it sound so good and I have always loved mushrooms. I didn’t hate the soup, but it didn’t wow me and I doubt I’ll make it again.
For those who don’t have the cookbook, here is a bit about how the soup is made and served: First of all, chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms are sauteed and then simmered in broth. At the end, the whole thing is pureed to make a smooth soup. To serve, a little salad is made with fresh mushrooms and some herbs. The salad is placed in individual bowls and the hot soup is poured over it, slightly cooking the raw mushrooms. The recipe suggests a dollop of creme fraiche on top. While I didn’t do this, I think it would add a lot.
The first night we ate this I thought the problem was that between the raw mushrooms and my shallow soup bowls the soup cooled off too quickly. I prefer my soup piping hot. Also, I didn’t care for the contrast between the pureed soup and the mostly raw mushrooms. The next night I made some adjustments: I sauteed some sliced mushrooms to replace the raw ones and I used different bowls. It still didn’t do much for me. I actually think I would like this soup a lot better served as a small portion at the beginning of a meal rather than as a main course.
So, this was a disappointing start to French Fridays, but I am looking forward to trying more!