Thursday, July 07, 2011

Mushroom, Beer & Bacon Soup

Mushroom, Beer & Bacon Soup d-w

It was inevitable really. Food blogger meets master brewer-in-training and the result had to be either a food and beer pairing or even better, beer *in* the food. Don't think I missed those ears perking up there at the back... So far I've added beer to pasta, chocolate cake, mussels, an Irish coddle and now, soup. 

This was my second attempt at mushroom soup (for Winter '11 at least) and while the first attempt wasn't bad (really, not bad at all), when TheHusband couldn't stop raving about his latest brewing success it seemed like a no-brainer to incorporate his brown ale into firstly the mussels of Sunday night, then the mushroom soup of last night.

My method had little rhyme nor reason, I'll be the first to admit. It was more a case of 'hmmm lets try a few glugs of this and see how it goes'. The soup didn't need much more - a touch of nutmeg and paprika and a generous helping of fried bacon* stirred through - it was a done deal. 

*because bacon makes everything better, didn't you know?

Mushroom, Beer & Bacon Soup
A Creative Pot original
Serves 4 - 5

The beer adds lovely depth of flavour and this particular brew (a brown ale) seems to emphasise the peppery notes of the seasoning.

3 medium potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
500g (approx 1 lb) brown mushrooms, sliced
250g (approx 1/2 lb) button mushrooms, sliced
1 1/3 cup water (or sub with vegetable stock)
2/3 cup brown ale
3/4 cup cream
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
250g streaky bacon, sliced
a handful of parsley, chopped

1. Add potatoes to a pot of boiling water and cook (skin on) until tender. Alternatively microwave until cooked through. Set aside to cool down, before peeling.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, sauteeing until the onion is glazed and looks almost see-through.
3. Add mushrooms, water and beer, bring to a boil and cook until mushrooms are soft.
4. Lower heat, break potatoes into chunks and add to the soup mixture. Puree with a handblender, then stir cream, paprika and nutmeg through. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
5. Heat a little bit of oil in a separate small frying pan over high heat. Add bacon to the pan and fry until lightly crispy.
6. Reheat soup until warm, then stir most of the bacon into the soup, reserving a few pieces for garnish. Ladle into soup bowls, topping with the reserved bacon bits and chopped parsley.

Full disclosure: The brown ale I used is TheHusband's own brew, so obviously I got it for free. After all, he wouldn't dare charge me for it...


Joanne on July 07, 2011 2:02 am said...

beer in soup is a no-brainer! Especially if you have a brewmaster living in the house. Then it's just necessary!

Kit on July 07, 2011 2:35 pm said...

Looks like real warming winter fare, rich and sumptuous!

pressurized walls ny on July 08, 2011 10:04 am said...

It's good for the diet .. nice idea ..

Spoon and Chopsticks on July 10, 2011 4:04 am said...

Very interesting recipe. It's first time I'm seeing beer in a soup. It'll be fun to try. Thanks for sharing.

Juanita on July 10, 2011 6:14 pm said...

It certainly is soup season with this cold spell! We've been eating litres of the stuff.

Mushroom soup is so yum...pity about the grey colour visually I've always thought. Luckily, we don't eat with our eyeballs :-)

Ruby on July 12, 2011 8:59 pm said...

Ok so, I'd love to make this but I need to know how much of the alcohol cooks out. Could my kids eat it? Because my son LOVES mushrooms... Then again its only a relatively tiny amount. Might make them sleep better! ;-)

Marisa on July 12, 2011 9:38 pm said...

Ruby - As far as I know a lot of the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process, but I really have no clue how much alcohol remains. If you're very uncomfortable with your son ingesting any alcohol I'd suggest using a non-alcoholic beer or even just substituting with water - you might have to slightly tweak the spices until it tastes just right. PS: love your blog!

Julia on July 15, 2011 11:02 pm said...

If I go vegan, the things I will miss the most: bacon, cheese and fro yo. Because yes, bacon does make everything better!

evey on July 21, 2011 7:41 pm said...

yummy! a soon as it stops being 100 degrees out, I am going to try this recipe out. pretty much anything I have ever tried that includes both beer and bacon has been a winner for me.

love your blog. glad to have found it through read my blog. (eveyinorbit via sb)

Jeanne @ CookSister! on July 27, 2011 9:33 am said...

Oh so true - bacon really DOES make everything better, LOL! Love the flavours in this soup - beer is great to cook with and there is such a variety of styles available, from fresh and light to really quite rich and heavy.

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