Slightly Wild Mushroom Barley Soup

Porcini mushrooms grow in the wild, and despite many attempts to grow them under controlled conditions they remain resistant to domestication. Fortunately, they are extremely prolific and grow all over the globe. Most dried porcini available in the Northeastern United States are imported from Eastern Europe or Asia. These dried mushrooms are available in several grades, and also as powdered mushrooms. They add a tremendous amount of mushroom flavor to any dish. In this soup, they join three varieties of fresh mushrooms available in most food markets, and so the combination is slightly wild. Continue reading

Cauliflower and Carrot Soup with Dill

In early autumn the flavors of these vegetables are at peak. The sweetness of carrots and the slightly sour tang of cauliflower complement each other perfectly—it takes two to tango. Serve with crusty sour dough bread and a spreadable cheese such as Blythedale Farm’s Vermont Camembert. Made in the traditional French manner, it bears distinctive nutty, mushroomy flavors and fresh scents that go well with this soup. Continue reading

White Bean Soup with Zucchini and Eggplant, Tomato Pistou and Garlic Croutons

This recipe is all about garlic. Garlic in the soup, garlic in the pistou, and garlic croutons. The pureed cannellini beans give the soup a nice smooth body. Garden vegetables are the essential ingredients of summer cooking. Nothing tastes like produce in season. Enjoy it while you can. Pistou is often made without tomatoes, like pesto, but this version gives the soup a blast of ripe, uncooked tomatoes—a memorable flavor to be enjoyed when you can get it.  Continue reading

Tomato, Corn, and Goat Cheese Soup

Some of the greatest cheeses in the world are made in Vermont. At last count, Vermont is home to more than 40 cheese makers making 150 varieties. That adds up to more cheese makers per capita than any state. It’s not hard to see why I often think of adding cheese to what I’m cooking. The earthy flavors of goat cheese is a natural companion to fresh garden vegetables. In this colorful soup I used fresh goat cheese (chèvre) from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery in Websterville, Vermont. It is equally good slathered on sourdough bread, as well as melting quickly and easily into the body of soups and sauces. Continue reading