Friday, October 3, 2014

Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup with Sherry & Thyme

Rich and creamy, this is the perfect prelude to a sensational Thanksgiving dinner. A handful of dried porcini mushrooms add a hidden depth of flavour to this thick and satisfying Wild Mushroom Soup prepared with fresh cremini, shiitake, plump portobello mushrooms sautéed with chopped leeks, onion and garlic, combined with sherry, beef stock then puréed with heavy cream. Instead of blending the whole mixture for a silky smooth soup, half of the mushrooms can be puréed with the cream, then combined with the remaining cooked mushrooms, to produce a thicker more robust and textured soup. Either way, this mushroom soup is a delicious start to any special autumn meal.

Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup
Serves 6

4 tbsp butter
3 leeks, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves only
1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/4 lb portobello mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 tsp spicy paprika
4 cups beef stock
1 cup cream, such as half-and-half
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp dry sherry
1/2 cup minced parsley or chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a small saucepan combine the sherry, 1/2 cup of beef stock and the dried porcini. Bring to  boil, remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes.

Dice the leeks and onion. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and cook over low heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour, stir and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms, the porcini with the soaking liquid, and salt and pepper, and continue to cook over low heat, for 7 minutes. Sprinkle in the paprika, and stir. Add the remainder of the beef stock, lower the heat to a low simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. 

Purée half of the soup in batches, in a blender or food processor. Return the mixture to the pot and gently reheat, over low heat. Stir in the cream and reseason with salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with chopped parsley, chives and a garnish of cream.