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Mushroom Soup: Mycophilia

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Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup

Copyright 2009 Kevin D Weeks
I suppose you could call this Cream of Mushroom Soup, after all it includes both cream and mushrooms. But the order is wrong it is more a Mushroom Soup with cream.. And unlike the canned stuff, this soup is thickened not with starch and evaporated milk but with pureed mushrooms. And although you won't see a single recognizable mushroom in it, it contains several variteties. This Mushroom Soup is thick, rich, and deeply savory, perfect as the first course for almost any elegant meal and equally at home as a comforting late-night supper. (Larger image.) Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. dried wild mushrooms
  • 3/4 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms (button, shitake, porcini, …); coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 c red wine (optional)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 shallot; chopped
  • Large pinch Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Crème fraiche and chopped chives for garnish

Preparation:

1. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a small sauce pan, remove from heat, and add dried mushrooms.

2. Steep mushrooms for 30 minutes while you prep remaining ingredients. Stirring occasionally to dislodge any dirt.

3. Transfer mushrooms to small bowl using a slotted spoon, then strain liquid through a coffee filter in a sieve into another bowl to eliminate any dirt.

4. Place a soup pot over medium high heat and add half of the mushrooms (Note, do not oil the pan.) Sprinkle generously with Kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the mushroom have reduced by half.

5. Add remaining mushrooms, sprinkle with a bit more salt, and add thyme and shallots. Continue cooking until the volume is again reduced to half.

6. Add butter and toss with mushrooms to melt.

7. Add wine and reduce liquid to a syrup.

8. Add rehydrated mushrooms and stock. Bring to a vigorous simmer, then reduce heat and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

9. Add half and half and puree soup using either an immersion blender or in standing blender. Return to heat and warm thoroughly.

10. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche (or sour cream) and sprinkled with chives.

Note: This soup is perfect for a ski or sled outing served in a mug from a thermos - no spoons needed. Skip the crème fraiche and chives, but add a half jigger of brandy or even scotch to the top.

And for those of you wondering how you ended up on Web page with a mushroom soup recipe - mycophilia means mushroom lover.

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