Saturday, August 9, 2014

Desperation in the Kitchen: Grandma Aniela's Mushroom Soup (Zupa Grzybowa)

My grandma Aniela raised me until I came to America. She was a no-nonsense lady, and my first hero/mentor. Oh, and she could cook. Oh, my goodness could she cook.

Back in Poland, we used to go mushroom picking. It was a family weekend activity. And that was back in the day when I could tell the different mushrooms apart and which ones were safe to eat and wouldn't kill you.

Now, I buy my mushrooms at Lowe's and Wal-mart, in little plastic containers.

But you know what? I can still totally rock Grandma Aniela's Zupa Grzybowa.

Here's what you need.

*2 lbs. mushrooms (I used one pound white button, one pound portabella)
*butter (eyeball it, but a couple tablespoons)
* large onion
*cupful of water
*lemon juice from a quarter of a lemon
*beef broth/stock
*sour cream, one cup
*flour (3/4 of a cup)
*dill, to top
*extra sour cream to top, optional
*salt, pepper, garlic powder

Here's what to do

*wash your  mushrooms. yes, that's a lot of mushrooms
*Chop the mushrooms. Watch your husband come into the kitchen, and complain to him about how there is way way way too much chopping to do.
*Laugh your butt off as husband uses a large military kitchen knife to pulverize mushrooms and make silly faces as you take his picture

*Saute your onion in butter, in a large stockpot. (if you are using two pounds of mushrooms, you're going to need a large stockpot...mine was an anniversary gift from Gabe last year)

*After the onions have softened, add your mushrooms (and some extra butter, because, dang, that's a lot of mushrooms), then add the water and lemon

*Add in your broth, and spices. Let simmer for about 15 more minutes

*This is the semi-odd part. Combine your flour and sour cream, and mix well. Then add a cupful of the hot soup to the mix. Mix that together, then add back to the soup. Let simmer for another 15 minutes.

*Add a splash of half and half, which is pictured, but I apparently did not mention it. Whoops! Let that heat through for another 5 minutes, then season to taste.

*Blend with an immersion blender. I mostly do this because when Gabe was a kid, he thought large pieces of mushrooms were "slimy" (he informed me of this last time I made the soup)

*Serve topped with dill, with a swirl of sour cream, if you like. (Ella does, Gabe isn't crazy about sour cream on top of anything)

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