Soups of Autumn, Part I

Island Epicure


Now that the heat of summer has passed, hot soups soups have replaced the cold soups of summer. We’ve even had a little rain, the autumn rain that brings the mushrooms up. If you have access to a field, you should be able to do find agaricus campestris, the white button mushrooms that show up so beautifully against the newly green of the grass.  Of course, both white mushrooms and  brown ones are readily available at Thriftway.

All mushrooms have healing ability. The Sherpa porters who carry huge loads up Mount Everest credit a mushroom called cordyceps sinensis that grows right beside their steep path with giving them the strength and stamina to carry loads that weigh as much as they do uphill all day. You won’t find cordyceps in the supermarket, but you can get it as a nutritional supplement from Swanson Vitamins on the internet to increase your stamina.
Meanwhile, for flavor and a health boost, go ahead and get some mushrooms at your supermarket and enjoy this mushroom curry soup.

Lacto Vegetarian

Prep and Cook: 20-25 minutes
3 servings

2 to 3 Tablespoons butter
½ cup chopped onion
1/3 cup sliced celery, optional
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 dashes paprika
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon  vegetable broth
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
¼ cup half and half cream, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a 4 to 6 cup heavy-bottomed pan. Stir-fry vegetables  with curry powder and paprika until onion is glossy and yellow. Add water and vegetable broth. Cover. Cook 10 minutes. AD milk and as soon as it steams, stir in the cornstarch mixed with water and continue stirring until the cornstarch is cooked and the soup thickened. Add cream if using. Add salt and pepper.
Serve with Bavarian rye toast, buttered and a side salad of your choice.  Either a fruit salad on lettuce with ranch dressing offered or a vegetable salad with olive oil  and vinegar.