Friday, September 16, 2011

Mushroom Painting and Curried Apple Soup

I commissioned my friend, Velvet, to make me one of her mushroom paintings. I had a perfect spot for a tall, long painting. She makes these out of wallpaper samples and they are fantastic! They are rustic, modern, and whimsical. You can see her mushroom magnets at her Etsy shop. If you want a painting made, just send her a note from her Etsy shop and she'll make you one! You'll also find her at the Ely Farmer's market in the summer and the holiday craft fairs in town.

Here's how it looks next to the wood stove.

I'll probably paint those sticks on the right side white so that they tie in to the mushroom painting. Oh, you noticed the fire in the wood stove? It SNOWED! on September 14. Is that crazy, or what? I had a fire on both Wednesday and Thursday. Today I'm just wearing sweaters.

If you have a bunch of apples, or access to a bunch of apples, you must make this curried apple soup. It is so delicious! It's all you need for supper as long as you have some good bread to sop up the good flavors. It's sweet, spicy, complex, and it makes your house smell divine. The recipe is from Molly Katzen's cookbook The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

Curried Apple Soup

The Stock:
peels and cores from the apples
skins (cleaned) from the onions and garlic
2 cinnamon sticks
2 1/2 cups apple juice
2 1/2 cups water

Combine everything into a pot. Boil gently, partially covered, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand until cooler. Strain and discard solids.

The Soup:
3 Tbs. butter
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
2 medium cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 heaping cups peeled, chopped apples (any kind but delicious)
1 tsp salt
juice from 1 lemon
2 cups mixed plain yogurt and sour cream (any proportion or one or the other)

Mix together these spices into a little bowl:
3 tbs. flour
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat butter, ginger, garlic, and a dash of salt. Stir and cook over moderate heat a minute or so, then add onions. Saute another 5 minutes, then add 1 tsp salt and apples, stirring well. Add lemon juice, and sprinkle in the pre-combined flour and spices, stirring constantly. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let it rest about 10 minutes. Heat the stock.

Puree the stock and sauteed mixture together bit-by-bit in a food processor or blender (I used an immersion blender and it worked great). Make sure the result is very smooth. Transfer it to a kettle or heavy saucepan, and whisk in the yogurt/sour cream. At this point the soup shouldn't be cooked any further. Just heat it over low heat right before serving time. If you cook it further, the yogurt/sour cream will curdle. (The soup can be made a couple of hours ahead and heated just before it's served. It's also good cold.)


  1. I bought one of her little mushroom paintings last summer at the Ely Farmer's market! I love it! I also bought one of your bags-the one with the Bar Ron (I think that's it) pin on it. Love your blog!

  2. Hi Amy, I'm glad you found my blog! I'll tell Velvet you like your painting. I couldn't find out much more about Bal-Ron other than he was a costume jewelry designer in the 1940's and made pins and other things out of 12K gold filled metals.