Warning: Spoilers everywhere!
Samwell Tarly gets a dose of...reality.
Season 7, Episode 1: Dragonstone
If Sam Tarly could tweet to the world, it would read "My best friend was just killed, my dad kicked me out, and now I'm scrubbing sh*t at the Citadel. FML." (FML meaning Fuck My Life, according to the twitter-verse.) Sam Tarly has finally landed at The Citadel, studying to be a Maester - dream come true! But it's not as glamorous as it sounds - he's apparently trapped in an endless loop of chamber pots and soup pots. Poops and soups all day, every day. FML indeed, Sam.
The cooks at the Citadel don't seem very concerned about good food, but a good mushroom soup can be quite delicious even if it's not very pretty to look at. FML doesn't have to be bad if it happens to be a bowl full of farro, mushroom & lentils. (See what I did there?)
Anthony Bourdain's mushroom soup from the Les Halles Cookbook is deceptively simple, but it is a revelation. It's what cream of mushroom wants to be, but without the heaviness of any cream, the mushrooms are able to shine in pure buttery glory. This could easily be made vegetarian with a good vegetable stock, but with a whole stick of butter it will never be health food. This soup is as versatile as it is simple - I've cooked this soup down to a thick sauce and served it with linguine, used it as a base for a chicken noodle casserole, I'm just saying you can have your way with this recipe in a variety of ways...okay, but back to the soup.
The original recipe calls for a sauté of mushrooms and onions in butter, simmering in broth for a full hour (no cheating), and a final purée with an immersion blender. Is there anything easier? Nope. But for the sake of my FML version (apologies to Mr. Bourdain), farro and lentils are sautéed in butter with more mushrooms and added to the broth for a bit more heartiness. This soup might not be much in the looks department - it's basically a 'bowl of brown' as they say in Fleabottom - but it more than makes up for its looks in taste. Garnish with chopped parsley, serve with a warm baguette (some brie would be lovely) and a nice wine and you too will see it for the thing of beauty that it truly is. Enjoy!
Farro, Mushroom and Lentil Soup
adapted from Anthony Bourdain
For the soup: