Let’s say you have a couple of leftover portobellos and you really don’t feel like grilling them. You could, instead, make summer soup with garden herbs.
You could slice one shallot, a couple of garlic cloves, two carrots, three celery stalks and sauté them with butter in a stock pot. Then—because you open the fridge and find you’re out of white cooking wine—you could drizzle sake into the pot with a sprinkle of salt and one portobello, roughly chopped. The other portobello, you could slice neatly and set aside.
When the veggies are nicely satuéed, you could add five cubed potatoes and a hefty pinch of turmeric (because it adds color, because it’s good for you), cover with water and boil until the taters are tender; then let the mixture cool. Meanwhile, you could sauté the sliced portobello in a little more butter and a little more sake with another little sprinkle of salt; then, just before finishing, a drizzle of white balsamic, just a touch.
Then you could take your handheld immersion blender, that wizard tool, and puree the soup before bringing it back to a simmer. You could go to your garden and pluck several sprigs of rosemary and thyme, rinse and chop them real fine. After the soup has simmered a bit, you could add the sliced portobello and rosemary, perhaps a drizzle of that white balsamic or a glug of sake or another pinch of salt—taste and decide. Right before finishing, you could add that fresh thyme for just a taste of the heat, just a moment on the stove.
And then, if all the flavors align (let your tastebuds guide), you could let the soup cool to a temperature appropriate to the heat (hot summer day? serve it chilled); then take your pot to the backyard patio, beneath the big tree, in the flicker of candlelight, and eat your soup with grilled chicken and garlicky green beans.