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This week's French Garden recipe

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People who know me would tell you that it's hard to tell which I like more: gardening or cooking. I'd say it depends on which I'm doing at the moment. Anyway, French cooking and French gardening go hand in hand. For me, cooking is an on-going adventure. Join me here on my culinary explorations, where I share with you both my old favorites as well as new inspirations. It's my fondest wish that these recipes serve as a springboard for your own new creations.


09/25/2003
Chilled mushroom soup with angelica (Vichyssoise de champignons a l'angelique)

Ingredients:

For 4 servings:

3/4 lb. fresh mushrooms + 2 very large mushrooms (1 1/2" diameter) (grocery store variety)
3 c. homemade chicken broth
1 fresh angelica stalk with a few leaves
3/4 c. heavy cream
3 T. unsalted butter
Sprig of chervil

Plunge the angelica leaves in boiling water, drain immediately, refresh under cold water, and blot dry with paper towels.

Cut 4 tablespoons of 1/8" dice from the angelica stem. Reserve.

Slice the rest of the stem and place it in a saucepan with the chicken broth, bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat, and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.

Return the broth to the flame, add 2 T. of butter and the 3/4 pound mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook gently 5 minutes. Liquefy in a food processor and put aside to chill.

Melt the rest of the butter in a small saucepan and add the angelica dice. Sweat over low heat 5 minutes, without allowing to color, with a pinch of salt. Add 2 tablespoons water and allow to evaporate. Chill.

Coarsely chop the angelica leaves and add to the cream. Puree in a food processor. Add to the chicken broth mixture, and pass it all through a fine strainer, pressing down hard on the solids. Chill.

Clean and very finely slice the 2 large mushrooms.

Serve in chilled bowls, topped with the sliced raw mushrooms and sprigs of chervil.

This original and refreshing soup is from Paris' soup master Roland Durand.

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