Judith, born and raised in Budapest, became my dear friend, sometimes "mother", where-to-shop-for-special-food "stuffs" advisor, and a teller of life's tales that kept me enthralled for years. With our husbands, we shared holidays. When my mother came to live with us, she and Judith became close. One special food memory associated with them together was the day mother requested fried green tomatoes. Shortly before lunch, Judith called to see what we were doing for lunch. When she heard what we were having, she said "I'll be right over and bring some ostrich". She wasn't kidding! Who knew that ostrich and fried green tomatoes would co-exist so deliciously?
I have such wonderful memories of Judith and many of her recipes.
Here's how she made mushroom soup.
Hungarian Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup from Judith G.
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup wild rice
1 ounce dried mixed mushroom (Judith had them sent from Hungary)
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 Tbsp butter
4 ounces fresh cremini or button mushrooms, quartered or thickly sliced
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
1. Combine chicken broth and rice in a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients. Cover and simmer over medium low heat until rice is tender, about 40 minutes.
2. In the meantime, soak the mushrooms in the hot water until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and reserve the liquid.
3. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the fresh mushrooms until tender and golden brown. Remove to a bowl. In the same pan, melt the remaining Tbsp of butter and add the onion. Saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and saute one minute longer.
4. Add the soaked mushrooms, the reserved liquid, the sauteed mushrooms, onion and garlic to the wild rice and chicken broth along with the potato. Cover and simmer until the potato is softened.
5. Cool slightly and roughly puree about two cups of the mixture in a blender or food processor. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the milk and half and half. Bring to a slight simmer and serve.