March Madness, chocked full of free throws and little green shamrocks, moseys upon my mind. This month, I committed myself to a “stay cation”. Given that in three months, I managed to travel overnigh every other week, emphasizing staying HERE was in order to manage the “madness.” And wow, between learning how to knit (more on that later) searching for and scoring an at home soda maker, I’ve been in PJs 75% of my weekend. And even though the weather warms, soup continues to soothe. I sopped up an Avocado and Corn soup that mirrored heaven…but what would be better than BEER SOUP?
My wonderful mentor sent a remarkable Christmas package that contained a gift that surprised me: a cookbook. I have been out of favor with cookbooks f or the past five years now, in the past two years relying solely on revised concoctions mused from online sources. Yet this one, stole my heart. Twelve Months of Monastery Soups. A Benedictine monk authored this beloved edition that relies heavily on French cuisine and a sense of soulishness. What I cherished about this cookbook was that many of the selections felt foreign to me, and featured seasonal fare plant based and flavorful. Immediately, I sent another book of his off to my friend Y in hopes of sharing the passion. I promised to make a soup from each month following the recipe exactly as written with no substitutions or creativity. My March selection?
Saint Lioba Beer and Mushroom Soup
It’s German, named for a big evangelist in the 7th century. See? Beer saved SOULS here people! No wonder why it can be used to heal open wounds. Saint Lioba means “dear one” and you’ll find this soup pretty endearing as well…especially on DAY THREE.
6 Tablespoons oil of choice (Spanish Olive!)
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 large onions choped
6 cans of beer (I used Urplis)
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons cream
chopped parsley, salt and pepper to tastand grated Gruyere to top
Step 1…sautee the mushrooms and onion in oil, add beer and bay leaf and raise heat from low to medium, bring to a slow boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 2… Mix beaten eggs and cream. Add about 6 tablespoons of broth to this and mix very well. Then add this to the big soup pot and mix togethr. Bring soup back to medium heat.
When you serve it, season with salt and pepper and cheese on top.
Ever had beer as a broth? DO NOT add chicken stock or any premade broth to this. It RUINS the pungent flavor! Believe me. There is a tangyness that was not all that yummy the first night, but after two days, let me tell you….no wonder this lady was a saint. Simple, bu oh so flavorful. It ROCKED with a mozzarella pear grilled sammie.
One night, I whipped up sweet potato goat cheese pancakes: 1/4 C. Whole Wheat Flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tbl dried garlic, 1/3 cup Sweet Potato Puree, 3 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese, 1 egg, plus some quick oats to thicken it and a few tablespoons milk.
Try something new. And try not to tinker with it. Faithful following will be rewarded here…and madness mastered.