I woke to these words this morning from Maria Popova’s inspirational Brain Pickings newsletter: “There are certain moments, as when winter cusps into spring, when nature itself reminds us that even when nothing is happening, something is happening: Buds begin to spine the skeletal silhouettes of trees, withholding leaf and blossom until it is right, until it is safe to spill new life into the chilly air; birds, whose dinosaur bodies have spent all winter preparing to mate, perch silent on the bud-spined branches, all longing and unsung song.
…The great gift of such periods is that they invite us to question our certitudes, our givens, these seemingly sure foundations that have lulled us into complacency — for it is only by being jolted out of our complacencies, cultural or personal, that we ever reach beyond the horizon, toward new territories of truth, beauty, and flourishing.”
In this time of silence, this bisque reminds me of that too.
1 lb. (453 g) mix of your favorite mushrooms (I love crimini with a few shiitake thrown in), cleaned* and sliced
1/4 stick of salted butter
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T each of fresh parsley and thyme
1/4 cup red wine (something you enjoy but it doesn’t need to be too expensive)
3 cups vegetable broth (I’m a huge fan of Better Than Bouillon organic veggie stock)
1/3 cup (40 g) flour
1 cup of half and half
Dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche
Sprig of fresh thyme
*While many people like mushroom brushes, my favorite technique for cleaning mushrooms is to run a little water over the tops, gently rub off any dirt, then massage with paper towels to absorb all water.
In a Dutch oven, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes.
Add wine and herbs and saute 2-3 more minutes, then stir in the flour until evenly incorporated. Let it incorporate for a few minutes then add the veggie stock and bring the whole thing to a boil.
Lower the temperature all the way and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cream the last few minutes before serving.
Top with fresh ground pepper, garnishes and enjoy!!