The world of natural wines
More wine drinkers are looking for eco-friendly wines and winemakers are responding. As the entire world turns “green,” international winemakers are returning to their roots. Some larger commercial wineries are using natural and organic techniques, but generally smaller, boutique wineries continue to refine natural techniques. Discover New Jersey’s own organic winery, which has begun producing fine wines using natural techniques which generally taste good and are eco-friendly.
Relaxed country manners & a new modern menu
Equus is located smack dab in the center of Bernardsville, one of New Jersey’s small rustic towns. Chef Scott Cutaneo is developing a restaurant with a more casual demeanor with fare offered at good value but without the sacrifice of high quality and delicious taste.
The skinny on cream soups
In classical cream soup making, soups were based on a béchamel sauce created by thickening milk with flour (roux) and adding heavy cream at the end, or a velouté sauce made by thickening broth with roux, heavy cream and egg yolks. But is it possible to make mouthwateringly delicious “cream” soup without the high fat and calorie content? It is. And it’s not hard to do.
Here is one cream soup recipe that looks rich and inviting but has far less fat and calories than its original version. Find delicious recipes for Cream of Roasted Pepper Soup and Cream of Carrot Soup in the autumn issue of New Jersey Countryside.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Be sure when pureeing this soup that you achieve a smooth, uniform texture. The sprinkling of minced chives for garnish adds a pretty green spike to this less than colorful but utterly delicious soup. As an alternative garnish, thinly slice four mushrooms lengthwise and sauté in a little butter in a frying pan or sauté pan until softened. Reserve until ready to serve, and then float a few mushrooms slices in each bowl.
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cups (about 1 lb.) chopped white button mushrooms
1 celery stalk, minced
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4½ cups chicken broth
1 fresh thyme sprig
½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
1 In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, and leek. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
2 Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle flour over vegetables, stirring constantly for 2 minutes until incorporated into pan liquids.
3 Stir in chicken stock and thyme sprig. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
4 Remove sprig of thyme and discard. In a food processor or blender, puree soup in batches until smooth. Return to pan and stir in cream.
5 Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently until heated through 2 to 3 minutes.
6 And salt and white pepper to taste.
7 Ladle into individual bowls or a soup tureen. Garnish with chives.
Yield: 4 servings