Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mini Food Review: Artists Points' Smokey Portobello Soup

Ever think about something and just the memory of it makes you smile? Yeah-this soup has me sitting here smiling just remembering how off-the-charts good it is. Let me start by saying that although you're are going to not believe me-no pork is used in this dish. There is a disagreement as to whether this soup is a true vegan option or not. I was told that it is a true vegetarian dish, others have been told chicken stock is used in the preparation. This is actually often the case with a lot of "vegetarian" soups. If you are a vegan, I would recommend speaking with the chef, simply because menus & preparations change and the truly vegan version of this soup could be the most recent version. But with this soup the bacon-like flavor comes entirely from the smoking of the portobello mushrooms used in the soup. The nice meaty, earthiness of the portobellos-both smoked and fresh, is tamed by silky heavy cream. Onions lend a full flavor & sweetness to the dish and the whole thing is kept from going flabby by the addition of white wine. I am guessing it's Chardonnay-or at least that's what I would use, because the oakiness of Chardonnay would blend nicely. Topped with roasted shitake mushrooms, which give the soup a nice bit of chewy texture and chive oil and creme fraiche that cut through the very mild heaviness of the soup without over-powering it. This soup it good on every level. It is filling without making you sluggish, like many cream soups do. It is flavorful without being salty or too smokey. And it will leave you contemplating ordering another bowl. Seriously contemplating.

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