Aglio Olio Pasta and Mushroom Soup

On Friday, it was another religious occasion for my MIL so she assigned cooking duties to me again.  I was supposed to make Cream of Mushroom Soup and Aglio Olio Pasta.

Ordinarily, I would have thought making one experimental dish was already braving it in the face of such critical palates, so to make two experimental dishes was really flying by the seat of my pants.  But since my MIL wanted Aglio OIio, I went in search for a recipe online and found one on Cooks.com which I will never try again.

My MIL thought it was too oily.  I thought it was too bland.  Aglio Olio not really being my pasta of choice when we dine on Italian, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was aiming for when it came to the taste test.  All I could say was that I thought it should have been tastier.  Perhaps it was missing some chili flakes, too – who knows?  Anyway, if you know of a fool-proof, to-die-for Aglio Olio recipe, please, please drop me a message below.

Since I had been planning to make cream of mushroom soup for some time now, I had already been scouting around for some online recipes – real recipes, not like that list of ingredients that Aje gave me last time.  Anyway, I found something that looked pretty promising on Home Cooking from About.com, which I ended up modifying to the following effect:

Ingredients:

  • olive oil (instead of butter, because my MIL wanted to be healthier, but I think butter will be more tasty)
  • 2 punnets mushrooms (about 400g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Preparation:

Clean mushrooms with a mushroom brush or damp paper towel. Cut half of the mushrooms into slices.

In a large saucepan, add some olive oil and saute sliced mushrooms until golden. Remove and reserve sliced mushrooms. Add more olive oil to the same pan and stir fry the onions.

Add whole mushrooms, onions, chicken stock, cream, flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper to a blender and blend until smooth.  Return mixture to a pot and add in the sliced mushrooms. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened.  Serve.

The Review:

The general consensus was that it tasted good except that it needed more salt.  The hubby also thought it either had too many mushrooms, or not enough cream.  Considering that we increased the quantity of chicken stock, that might explain why he thought it wasn’t creamy enough.  Personally, I thought it turned out quite well – much better than the time I tried to follow Aje’s mushroom soup recipe, anyway.

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