Sunday, November 02, 2014

Roasted Garlic, Porcini Mushroom, and Marrow Bone Soup

I can't really argue that it's fall now.  The temperatures have dropped, the time has changed, and all I really want to do is crawl under the covers.  This of course means it's....soup time!  I'm normally not excited about soup.  Hot flavored water.  But this isn't your usual soup.  When you throw in a bunch of roasted marrow bones into hot flavored water, something magically delicious happens.

Roasted Garlic, Porcini Mushroom, and Marrow Bone Soup

2 pounds beef marrow bones
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 large heads of garlic
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 shallots, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 cups mushroom broth, from soaking mushrooms
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup cream
1 teaspoon sea salt

Crispy Sage Leaves
Vegetable oil, for frying
5 fresh sage leaves
½ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the marrow bones on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the sea salt. Cut the top off the garlic heads, place each one in the center of a square of aluminum foil, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.  Close the foil around each head of garlic. Place the marrow bones and the garlic in the oven and roast the bones for about 20 minutes and the garlic for about 35 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.

In a 2-cup measure, soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water until soft, about 30 minutes.  Drain the mushrooms and strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove any grit.  Set aside both the mushrooms and liquid.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they have softened and are starting to brown, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the crock of a slow cooker, combine the mushroom liquid, water, soaked mushrooms, bay leaf, sage, thyme, and black pepper.  Use a small spoon to scoop the jellied marrow out of the bones. Add both the bones and the marrow, to the crock.  Once the shallots are done cooking, add them to the crock.  Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the papery husk and add them to the soup, discarding the husk.  Cook on low for 3 hours.

Ladle the soup mixture into a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth, being careful to ensure that hot liquid does not splatter out. Pour the pureed soup back into the crock. Add the cream and salt, and adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Set the slow cooker on keep warm until ready to serve.

To prepare the crispy sage, heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet until hot. Add the sage leaves and fry until crispy, about 3 seconds, then remove with a mesh spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Immediately sprinkle the leaves with the sea salt.

Ladle the soup into the serving bowls and top with the crispy sage leaves. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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