D was very busy, and had no ideas for dinner. I suggested two ways to use the mushrooms that wanted eating – either he could make this soup (from a recipe [see below] in Patricia Wells’ At Home in Provence) – or I could pull out of the freezer one of the vats of fresh tomato sauce made last summer and add the mushrooms to that. He chose the soup, and it was great to have it again. He substitutes mushrooms for the chicken that is a component of the recipe as written – they just get cut up and added to the broth, without prior cooking. The broth is chicken, so this is “meat as a flavoring” instead of veggie. Had some of D’s no-knead bread left over, and had a bit of that with the soup, and then froze the rest.
We went into the cellar to look for wines before D cooked, and D picked up a sweeter wine that I suggested we keep for an Asian dinner instead (it’s in the fridge now) and also this Columna Albarino. It is an interesting wine, but I thought a good chard would be a better match for this soup – probably one like the Beringer that brother B offered a few nights and a few thousand miles ago. Anyway, good meal, and especially good for a cold winter day (this is “cold” by coastal California standards – others would chuckle).
D’s version of this soup:
Bring 1.5 qts chicken broth to a boil over high heat, in a large stockpot. Lower the heat, add 1/2 cup short-grain white rice, and sea salt to taste (I expect he did not measure – and this will depend on the broth, anyway), cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add a handful of cut up mushrooms* (sliced, chunked – whatever) and simmer 5 minutes more. In a bowl large enough for whisking, combine 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 3 large egg yolks; whisk to blend. Grate 1/2 cup Parmaggiano and add half of this to the egg mixture and whisk to blend. Heat shallow soup bowls in which the soup will be served. When ready to serve, add a ladle of warm not boiling) soup to the egg mixture and whisk to blend, then pour back into the stockpot, whisking briskly until well blended. Add a grating of nutmeg and pepper, and taste for seasoning. Serve in the warmed bowls, garnishing with parsley leaves and the rest of the grated cheese. Grating nutmeg or pepper over the top also is nice.
*Alt: one boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into matchsticks