You may be wondering, "Uhh...where's the picture of the soup pal?" While I have a picture of the finished soup, I don't really like the presentation of it. It was bearable at the time but looking at it now - it's not very good. I'm a perfectionist so it's really irritating when I screw up like this but I'm learning from my mistakes so I guess it's a good thing. Did you scramble your custard? Is this sauce...broken?! Don't worry - it's okay to make mistakes in the kitchen as long as you know how and why you screwed up. Just make sure you don't do it again. I still remember the first time I broke my hollandaise. Horror, panic and shame all wrapped around tightly like a fresh mozzarella ball shoved down my throat. *chills*. I put the picture of the soup at the end so you can take a look at it if you want. It's not pretty friends.
As for the soup, it's ridiculously easy. On a difficulty level, I'd say it's slightly more difficult than reheating a TV dinner and slightly easier than making stuff out of that blue Kraft box. It's pretty much sweat onions and mushrooms in butter, add chicken stock, throw in a sprig of parsley, simmer for an hour, blend and mix with sherry. I had to read through the instructions again just to make sure I wasn't leaving out something. If I can cook this without screwing up the flavors (presentation is a different story) the first time, YOU can definitely cook this.
I wasn't sure how dominant the mushroom flavor would be but the hour of simmering really infused the flavors well and the umami flavor of the mushrooms really came out. Tony says in the book that this soup gets even better the next day and he's right - it goes from good to great (just like the boeuf bourguignon that's coming up).
I spoke briefly about the presentation in the beginning and the soup doesn't have the most appetizing appeal. I just placed a leaf of parsley on top of the soup to add color but that wasn't the right call. Next time, I'm going to chiffonade the parsley and add a few drops of truffle oil on top of the soup which should make for a better presentation. That's the good thing about cooking though - screw ups are okay as long as you don't make the same mistake next time. Patient's lives aren't on the line and you do get a second chance (sorry professors, you can say mistakes are okay all you want but in the real world, no mistakes are okay). Another reason why screw ups are good is because it keeps you grounded. In check from becoming too arrogant. There's always room for improvement and the culinary world is constantly changing.
(man I hate this picture, the boeuf bourguignon picture is a lot better. I promise!)