The first dish was a creamy soup of mushrooms and buttered snails, served in gilded bowls.
From A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
I always feel like it’s cheating to use GRRM for inspiration, because it requires approximately ten seconds of randomly opening one of his books and skimming no more than a paragraph. But here we are, so whatever.
I always have enjoyed escargot, and have occasionally attempted to include these tasty snails in a great number of dishes they may not usually appear in. Escargot/alfredo was a crowd pleaser. Escargot/garlic bread (or as I like to call it “escarlic bread”) was not a crowd pleaser, but remains one of my favourite drunk snacks.
I have yet to determine if A Creamy Soup of Mushrooms and Buttered Snails is a crowd pleaser, because as of yet, no crowd except me has been brave enough to eat it. All my friends are apparently babies about food. It is a ME pleaser though. The escargot add their vaguely exotic seafoody deliciousness to a lovely creamy broth, and their velvety soft deliciousness to your face.
What you need!
One medium sized onion, chopped
Three cloves of garlic, chopped
About a cup of cooked cauliflower
Not very many mushrooms, chopped very small, because mushrooms are gross (if you like mushrooms I suppose you can add more). Another option is no mushrooms, because reasons (but you have to call it A Creamy Soup of Only Buttered Snails if you go for this option).
1/3 cup of butter
A whole lot of fresh basil, chopped
4 cups of beef broth OR chicken broth
½ cup milk OR cream
About half a cup of something alcoholic (white wine if you are using chicken stock, dark beer if you are using beef stock)
About a cup of grated cheddar cheese
One cup of escargot (approx 2 cans)
Salt and pepper to taste
What to Do!
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, and sautee the onions and garlic until the onion is almost clear. Add the basil and half of the mushrooms, and sautee for some more time until the onions are done.
Add the soup stock, beer/wine and cauliflower, bring to a boil. Drink the rest of the beer/wine because obviously. Reduce to a simmer. When soup is simmering, add cheddar cheese and milk and simmer some more until the cheese is melted.
Remove from heat and blend the soup in your blender or with a submersible blender. When it is creamy enough, put it back on the stove and add the remaining mushrooms and the escargot. Allow to simmer until the soup has reduced slightly. The more you let it reduce the creamier (and snailier) it will taste. This is the time when you can add your salt and pepper to taste as well.
Serve hot, or else it will get a weird skin on top of it (from the cheese). Serves about four I think, except that nobody wants to try it, so technically it has only served me four times.