Wine Reviews

Mushroom soup and Bordeaux

Sometimes my favorite thing is to hole up for a day or two and cook soup, trying different wines with what I make.

It takes a long time for me to make soup as I refuse to use store-bought veggie stock (salted water, blech). Roasting the vegetables takes longer but adds a ton of flavor.

With these recipes, the  flavors blend together creating a dish where the whole is more than the sum of the parts. With this thought for the soup, it only seemed natural to reach for a Bordeaux, a region where blending is an art.

My local wine shop suggested the 2005 Clarendelle Rouge made by Prince Robert de Luxembourg, the great-grandson of Clarence Dillon of Haut-Brion fame. This wine is a mix of 82% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc, retailing for around $20.

It has an earthy, dusty leather nose, with dark fruit on the palate and a solid finish. 2005 was a drought year in Bordeaux, resulting in grapes with ripe, concentrated flavors and this Bordeaux is indicative of the vintage.

The high acidity washes your mouth between bites – nice with food. Clocking in at 13% alcohol, it will complement a meal rather than overwhelm it. For the price, this is definitely a Bordeaux to try. If you try it, be sure to decant it prior to drinking.

You can order some ingredients with a Meijer coupon code and save.

Got some time? Pour yourself a nice glass while you’re chopping away …

Mushroom soup

  • 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (make sure you have some cheesecloth for straining)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 lb assorted fresh mushrooms
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • fresh parsley for garnish
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (recipe follows)
  • Day old crusty bread (2 slices)

Heat up 1 cup of the vegetable stock; pour over the dried porcini for about 30 minutes. Strain using the cheesecloth and reserve the liquid. Finely chop the porcini mushrooms.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the soup pot, adding the chopped porcini, onion and garlic for about 5-7 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. If the pot becomes dry, add some more veggie stock or olive oil.

Stir in the rest of the stock, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.  Cube the bread and put into the soup. Let sit for 10 minutes. Using a blender, puree the soup in batches. I like it a bit chunky but you can blend as much as you want. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley.

A high protein serving option is to pour this over quinoa.

Roasted vegetable stock (aka liquid goodness)

  • 1 lb peeled carrots, cut into 1 -2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb shallots, quartered
  • 1/2 lb portobellos, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly diced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-6 parsley sprigs (no need to chop)
  • 4-6 thyme sprigs (no need to chop)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 – 1 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve

Turn oven to 425 degrees. Combine carrots, shallots, mushrooms, garlic, parsley, and thyme with the olive oil into the roasting pan. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the vegetables are done, transfer them to your soup pot.

Place the hot roasting pan over 1 or 2 burners on low to medium heat and pour in the white wine. Deglaze the roasting pan by stirring up the bits of brown roasted goodness for a minute or two and then pour into your soup pot.

Add crushed tomatoes, water, and the bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.  Pour the stock through the cheesecloth or the sieve into a bowl. Press on the solids to get all the liquid out and the discard them.

I like to make a double batch of this stock so I can use some right away and then freeze some for later use.

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