VAncouver can be a pretty grey and chilling place in the fall, but I don't mind too much, because it means it is time for the fall meals. You know, that hearty, warming, earthy kind of food? Well, this meal was a perfect example of that. The soup was amazing and could easily be fiddled with to be a much more elegant starter.
And the simple combination of hoisin and orange marinated salmon, resting on sauteed swiss chard finished the whole meal nicely.
The recipe for the soup was found online:
Chanterelle Soup with Dried Apples, Hazelnuts and Apple Brandy
Says author/chef Cory Schreiber: Although it may seem luxurious to use the pricy chanterelle om a soup, I think you'll find it well worth the splurge. THis potato-based soup accents the mushroom's unique flavor with dreid apples, hazelnuts and apple brandy. This soup can be made several days ahead and refrigerated. Serves 8.
3 T. unsalted butter
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped
1 leek (white part only), washed and chopped
3 t. salt
2 T. water
2 lbs. fresh chanterelle or cremini mushrooms, or a mixture, wiped clean and thinly sliced
8 C chicken stock or broth
1 C apple cider
3 medium Yukon Gold or russet potatotes, peeled and chopped
1 T. fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1/4 C. apple brandy or hard apple cider
1 T. apple cider vinegar
2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 C. chopped dried apples
1/2 C. hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and finely chopped
6 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
In a heave 4 qt. pot, melt 2 T of the butter over low heat. Add the celery, parsnips, onions, fennel, leek and 1 t of the salt and saute for 5 mins. Stir in the water and 1/2 pound of the mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 mins or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the stock and cider and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and ground fennel seeds and simmer for 20-25 mins or until the potatoes are soft. Let cool. In a food processor or blender, puree the soup, in batches if necessary. For a very creamy soup, press the puree through a fine-meshed sieve; set aside.
In a heavy 4 qt. pot, melt the remaining 1 T butter over medium heat. Add the remaining mushrooms and saute until soft, about 8 mins. Add the brandy or hard cider, vinegar, pepper and remaining 2 t. salt and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour in the pureed soup. Heat until warm.
To serve, ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with the apples hazelnuts and sage.
Recipe adapted from Wildwood, Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest by Cory Schreiber.