A few posts ago I mentioned I was looking for new flavor combinations to try and I posted a recipe for large white beans in a chipotle sauce. I had every intention of going that route but then Mark Bittman posted this recipe http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/savory-pear-soup/ from Deb Gardner and it totally distracted me. So we picked up some Bartlett pears in the market and some chanterelles and this evening I set out on a pear-flavored adventure, full of hope and promise.
Some general points about this recipe:
1. It doesn’t say HOW MUCH butter to use or HOW LONG to cook the soup so I have to say that was strike #1
2. I ended up using too much butter (yes, there IS such a thing as using too much butter) – I used about 1/2 of a stick> I’d probably just use 1/4 of a stick next time, and only add it at the beginning
3. I don’t happen to have mushroom broth laying around so I used chicken broth & white wine – 1/2 cup white wine + 1.5 cups of broth (strike #2). I think you could use a MILD vegetable broth to make this as well, and then the dish would be vegetarian.
4. I cooked it for probably about 15 minutes, blended it all together, and then simmered it for another 10 minutes largely to kill time until the rest of dinner was ready
5. The blue cheese lightly sprinkled on top (which immediately sank to the bottom) completely overpowered the dish (strike #3)
Overall, I think the recipe needs less butter, no blue cheese and maybe instead a sprinkling of some sort of toasted nut on top? Additionally, more mushrooms, including some dried mushrooms (like porcini) soaked in the chicken broth would definitely enhance the dish. I appreciated the use of pears though, since I’ve been wanting to try to make a fruit soup.