Sometimes I love dreaming. The way that my brain picks out minute details from my week and my past and then mixes it all into a nonsensical smorgasbord never ceases to fascinate and amuse me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve woken up in the morning and simply thought “…what?”
I feel like there’s this whole other fantasy world inside my mind that I forget about as soon as I wake up but I remember once I go back to sleep. I often revisit the same fictional locations or find myself in situations where I’m able to draw on my experiences from past dreams. Leonardo Dicaprio and the drunk football player from Friday Night Lights may be fighting over me, which is pretty awesome, but when the zombies suddenly invade I’ll know exactly which tunnel to lead them through so that we’ll be all be safe in the event that we need to repopulate the planet. It’s a tunnel that I’ve used to hide from various monsters and demons in past dreams. Is that normal? To have a completely different set of fictional memories to draw from while sleeping?
Sometimes my dreams aren’t quite as amusing. Sometimes I find myself caught in these weird loops where I suddenly wake up in fear, only I haven’t really woken up because the room doesn’t quite look like my bedroom. But I won’t realize that since I’m still asleep. So I’ll nervously “go back to sleep” and hope that it doesn’t happen again, only to have the exact same thing happen. I might still be dreaming and I might not. Sometimes I’m completely paralyzed with fear. I literally can’t move. Sometimes Jeff has to wake me up because I’m audibly in distress.
Last night was like that. Wave after wave of these terrifying cycles where I jolted awake without actually waking up. After Jeff had to wake me up for real, I got out of bed, completely discombobulated, and lay on the couch with Sofi because I didn’t want to keep waking him up. I was scared to fall back to sleep. The worst part was that I was still confused about what was real. I had no idea how many times he had actually woken me up. Once? Twice? Not at all? Was it possible that I was still asleep as I sat on the couch? I am nervously anticipating going to sleep tonight. Will I be wandering through a live action version of Chutes and Ladders with the King of the World or will I be fighting my way through an endless loop of freaky confusion?
Dreams are weird.
This Cream of Shiitake Mushroom and Spring Onion Soup is a rich, flavorful and soothing meal.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups spring onions bulbs, chopped (reserve green parts for garnish)
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 4 cups shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
In a large dutch oven, heat the butter over low heat with a pinch of salt. Add the onions and celery and cook for several minutes until translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms and continue cooking. The mushrooms will release a lot of liquid. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring periodically, until very little liquid remains in the pan, approximately 5 minutes.
Turn the heat up to medium low and allow the mushrooms to begin caramelizing on the bottom of the pan for flavor. Stir periodically and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, incorporating them back into the vegetables. This can be done briefly or for several minutes. The longer they caramelize, the more flavorful the soup will be.
Pour the brandy into the pan and use the liquid to help scrape up any remaining brown bits. Allow the brandy to cook down to almost nothing and then add the stock and thyme leaves. Bring the soup to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to low. Allow the soup to simmer for one hour.
Ladle the soup into a blender and puree until silky smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot and add the cream, salt and pepper. If a thinner consistency is desired, add more cream.
Thinly slice the pale green section of the spring onions to use as garnish.
For a lighter soup, replace the cream with whole, reduced fat or non-dairy milk.