Friday, November 13, 2015

Week 37 - Mushrooms

My initial plan for the mushrooms theme had been to make grilled portobello mushroom steaks with a mushroom risotto. I decided that almost immediately after hearing the theme, but as the week grew closer, I started to get more and more attracted to the idea of mushroom barley soup. Of course, I had no barley, so I ended up making a mushroom rice soup, but same idea. 

I didn't really follow any specific recipe for this. The ingredients I used (amounts are approximations since I made this weeks ago and didn't get around to writing the post until now) were:

- olive oil to coat saucepan ($0.30)
- 8 carrots, chopped ($1.25)
- 1 bunch of celery, chopped ($1.37)
- 1 onion, chopped ($0.60)
- 1/2 head of garlic, minced ($0.08)
- 2 10-oz boxes of white button mushrooms, sliced ($3.58)
- 6-7 cups of water ($0)
- 3 spoonfuls of chicken bouillon (probably should have used vegetable bouillon to keep the soup vegetarian, but didn't think of it until afterwards) ($1)
- about 1 tbsp of herbs de provence ($0.40)
- about 1 tbsp of thyme ($0.30)
- salt and pepper ($0.05)
- 3/4 package of TJ's brown rice medley (blend of long grain brown rice, black barley, and daikon radish seeds) ($1.49)

The overall cost for the soup was approximately $10.42. That's a pretty good price, considering that it made enough for 2 full meals for us. (I put the second one in the freezer for another day, and we just ate it this past week.)

Making the soup was pretty easy. I started out by coating the pan with olive oil, adding the mirepoix ingredients (carrots, celery, onion) and garlic, and then sauteing it for a bit. Then I added the mushrooms and cooked them for a few more minutes. After that, I added the water, chicken bouillon, herbs de provence, thyme, salt, pepper, and the brown rice medley, brought it to a boil, lowered it to a simmer, and simmered it for about an hour. (I honestly can't remember if I covered it or not. It might have been partially covered.)

The soup was pretty good. I thought the mushroom flavor was going to be a little stronger with that many mushrooms in it, but it was still clearly a mushroom soup. It was simple, clean, healthy, nutritious, and tasty. I might add some more herbs next time, but other than that, I'm not sure I would change anything about it. It was a successful mushrooms challenge!

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