Winter food… in May…ugh

Unfortunately yesterday was a chilly and blustery day. While those words are typically reserved for winter weather, I live in Minnesota so they can be used at any time. Due to the cold snap I felt the need for a comforting meal. So I stopped on by my “Feed Me-Soup & Salad” Pinterest board to see if I had “pinned” anything that looked appetizing.

One of the pins was for Anthony Bourdain’s mushroom soup. I always like to read the reviews, tips, and modifications that people often leave on a recipe post and from that I pulled some great ideas. Bourdain’s recipe is delightfully simple. (Mushroom Soup)

While I thought this sounded wonderful alongside a grilled cheese sandwich, my boyfriend had asked for a hearty soup (he must have been craving comfort food too). This is where my improvisation and those modifications came into play. I began with the mushrooms and instead of Bourdain’s way, I followed Pastor Ryan’s Pan Seared Mushroom recipe from the Pioneer Woman (Pan-Seared Mushrooms) My thought was that pan-searing the mushrooms would create a deep, rich flavor and really showcase the mushrooms.

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Slice the mushrooms about 1/4 inch thick…

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Next up I put a cast-iron skillet over high heat, on the stove. I added about a tablespoon of canola oil– though use whatever suits your fancy. Once the oil is hot, add a couple handfuls of mushrooms to the pan. SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssiizzzllle.

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As the mushrooms begin to shrink from the heat, move them to the edges and add a little canola oil to the middle of the pan along with the remaining mushrooms. At this point, I added about 2.5 tablespoons of butter, and shallots as well as salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

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Now, I am no Pastor but these are DIVINE on their own. Anyway, once the mushrooms were done, I set them aside and started browning 2 lbs of Jimmy Dean Regular Pork Sausage in a large stock pot.

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Once browned I removed the sausage from the stock pot and drained in a strainer. Don’t worry about the sausage drippings in the bottom of the pan– it only makes it better. I then added the mushrooms, 10 cups chicken broth and 6-8 sprigs of chopped parsley to the stock pot.

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I brought the mixture to a boil. Once boiling I reduced the temp to a simmer and allowed the soup to bubble it’s way to decliciousness for the next hour. At the hour mark, I used an immersion blennder right in the pot. All of the mushrooms and parsley will turn to little bits, and the soup will go from clear to cloudy. I then spooned the sausage into the mixture, added about 2 ounces of red wine and brought the mixture back to a similar.

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In a separate pot, I begin boiling Buitoni Mixed Cheese Tortellini

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Once cooked, I drained the pasta and added it along with two handles of spinach to the stock pot.

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I let the soup cook just long enough for the spinach to wilt and then served a few ladlefuls with a traditional grilled cheese sandwich. YUM!!!

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The soup was rich and dancing with mushroom flavor. The tortellini was the perfect touch with it’s creamy filling and and tangoed so gently with the wilted spinach. At my house, this was a hit– actually a homerun… all the way out of the ballpark!

Cheers!

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