Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
This soup is very flavourful, easy, and pretty, and a steaming bowl of it, with a slice of toasted sourdough or wholegrain bread, makes for a deeply satisfying meal.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb sweet onion, peeled, cut in half, cut thin crosswise
- 1 lb portabella mushroom, cleaned, cut in slices
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups chicken stock (a little more may be required to thin soup if too thick)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried thyme or 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried herbes de provence
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1⁄2 cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces swiss cheese, grated
- salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
- minced fresh parsley (to garnish)
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute, stirring every few minutes, until they are caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Add the mushrooms, celery, carrot, garlic and salt, and saute, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, thyme (or herbes de provence) and bay leaf to saucepan. Reduce temperature to a slow boil and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf.
- (Carefully) blend soup in batches, either in blender, or using immersion blender, until soup is mostly pureed, leaving a bit of texture in the vegetables. Return to saucepan and over a low heat, whisk in half and half, ricotta and swiss cheeses, until cheeses have entirely melted into the soup. (If soup is too thick, thin with a little more hot broth). Season to suit your taste with salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.
- Serve in deep bowls, garnished with a sprinkle of minced, fresh parsley.
I thought this was quite good, and I know I will make this again and again. I tend to prefer a chunky soup, so I didn't puree the mixture but rather just let the ingredients do as they will after simmering the soup to perfection. I thought the trio of half-n-half, ricotta and swiss cheese was just a little much, so I will probably skip one of those ingredients the next time I make this (maybe the ricotta ??). But I thought the portabella mushrooms added such a wonderful earthy flavor that I would never have thought to include in a soup, so I am quite glad to have discovered that secret as a result of participating in this RSC contest. I didn't have any pros or cons about the carrots or celery, but I would probably leave them out next time too, only so the full earthy flavor of the portabellas can shine through. All in all, this was a creative and tasty entry that I most definitely will make again. Good luck with RSC #16, chef.
I liked this flaveorful soup. Easy and satisfying.
I made the base soup earlier in the day. Later, dished out about half of it and added the appropriate amounts of cream and cheeses. I thought it had a nice flavour, and was quite filling. Later that evening, I thought I'd have some more, but was too lazy to add the cream and cheese, so I just heated up the base. I preferred this much better. I realize some of the 'added' ingredients were for the purpose of the contest, but I personally preferred it without. This I will make again. Great job chef, and good luck in the contest.