My Recipe Box
Cook The Issue #97

Mushroom Soup with Pistachios and Chives

By NDbaker, member

February 7th, 2009

I have to admit that in the past I have found the "Cooking without Recipes" segment kind of annoying. I hate having to flip through the whole article while cooking to piece together the recipe. However, after cooking all of the recommended variations of creamy vegetable soups, I see the virtue in this feature. I now have the formula for creamy vegetable soups down pat, and I will forever be able to whip up a soup without a recipe. Yay! This exercise has allowed me to get a glimpse at how a chef thinks– you have a formula, and you fill it in with whatever suits your fancy. So, I decided to try my hand at making my own variation. And, you know what? I have the concept down, but the implementation needs work. The spices I chose (cumin and coriander) didn’t work very well in my soup. Next time I think I’ll try spicing my mushroom soup with rosemary.

And that’s it– I have cooked the issue. This has been fun. I learned a lot by trying recipes I wouldn’t normally consider. And I love interacting with the other contestants and seeing how other people interpret the recipes. The camaraderie has been great. Plus, I’ve been cooking so much that we’ve been able to turn down the heat in our house.

posted in: Gallery
Comments (5)

jaclyne writes: I know what you mean! There are other people out there that want to talk about food on their spare time...yay! My husband gets so sick of hearing me talk food, sometimes he just puts up his hand and says in a weak voice..."no more food"...ha ha.

All this photographing and food community stuff has got me thinking about starting a blog! It's so fun recording and sharing the meals we cook!

Posted: 8:37 pm on February 9th

NDbaker writes: I've never beem part of an online community before, and I have really enjoyed interacting with you folks. It's great to know that there are other people out there as obsessed with cooking as I am. As soon as I finished cooking the issue I took on the most recent _Cooks Illustrated_ which had been languishing while I focused on the challenge. I made the baked ziti (wow!) and the Emergency Chocolate Cake. I had to restrain myself from photographing those dishes! Posted: 11:28 am on February 9th

Pielove writes: NDBaker, congratulations on finishing the issue! Your contributions have all been great! What are you going to do for an encore?? Posted: 8:15 pm on February 7th

MarvelousKT writes: I've so enjoyed your commentary - and your advice on shredding the butternut squash - Thank you! We're having the steak tonight along with the martinez. Then, all I have left is the carrot cake. I, too will be sad to see the challenge end. I'd love to see an interactive forum where we could continue to communicate about cooking. My hips will be glad to get back to "normal" cooking but my enjoyment of the process - learning new techniques, trying foods we'd never have dreamt we'd like, the communication with everyone else - has far outweighed the extra calories! Maybe Fine Cooking will figure out a way we can continue in some fashion? Best wishes!!! Kate Posted: 3:44 pm on February 7th

jaclyne writes: I've loved reading your posts! Sad to see people finishing up:(
All the best! Posted: 1:18 pm on February 7th

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Update, March 6, 2009: This contest has now ended and we're tallying the results. The winner will be posted shortly. Feel free to continue to post your photos, though they will no longer be counted towards your total.

Over the course of two months, we’re challenging you to cook as many of the recipes in the February/March issue (issue 97) as you can, upload photos of what you make, and tell us what you love, what you don’t love, and what else you want to know.  Taking the challenge is easy. The most prolific member for this issue’s challenge will win a cookware shopping spree from, and fifty runners up will receive a copy of Fine Cooking’s Make it Tonight special issue.

For the complete contest rules, click here.