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Middle-earth Menu: “Red Book Comfort Soup”

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By Astrid Tuttle Winegar

I like to imagine that the recently-nine-fingered Frodo Baggins would whip up a pot of this oh-so-savory soup and enjoy it while writing his memoirs. It’s got plenty of his favorite mushrooms, enough bacon to satisfy any hobbit, and plenty of spinach to give him much-needed strength.

Please follow this link to my blog for the Savory Seasoning recipe! Or, I’ll make you a batch—head over to my Etsy Shop Elegant Sufficiencies and order your own: Savory Seasoning in a Jar or (the cheaper version) Savory Seasoning in a Ziploc Bag.

“Red Book Comfort Soup”

2 tablespoons salted butter

2 ounces good-quality precooked bacon, cut into ¼” slices

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup red onion, coarsely chopped

1½ pounds fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

14½-ounce can low-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons cream sherry

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dry thyme (or dry summer savory)

½ teaspoon “Shire” Seasoning (please see link above)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

5-6 ounces fresh baby spinach,   coarsely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

Additional paprika for garnish

 

Melt butter over medium/high heat in a 4-quart saucepan. Add the bacon and fry 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel; set aside. Add the garlic, onion, and mushrooms to the saucepan; cover and cook over medium/high heat 5 minutes. Uncover and add the flour, mixing well. Add the broth, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Bring to a boil; then cook over medium/low heat, covered, 5 minutes. Add the spinach and mix in well, then add the cream. Bring to a nice simmer and cook uncovered over medium/low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bacon. Adjust seasonings, if desired. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with additional paprika. Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Serves 3-4.

 

This is known as “Fungus Liquid (a.k.a. Mushroom Bacon Bisque)” in my cookbook.

Photo of author Astrid Tuttle Winegar, creator of Middle-Earth Menu: Sweet and Savory Pork RoastAstrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is now available from Oloris Publishing and Amazon! For now, she is mostly telling a culinary Middle-earth story here on Legendarium. Astrid has loved C. S. Lewis since childhood, J. R. R. Tolkien since middle and high school, all Star things, both Trek and Wars, all things Whedon, and many other things besides… She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband. Visit her website for more information: Astrid Tuttle Winegar | Cooking for Halflings & Monsters. Staff Reporter.

Please follow this link to my blog for the Savory Seasoning recipe! Or, I’ll make you a batch—head over to my Etsy Shop Elegant Sufficiencies and order your own: Savory Seasoning in a Jar or (the cheaper version) Savory Seasoning in a Ziploc Bag.

 

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