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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recipe: Mushroom Soup

Makes 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

2 oz or more dried porcini mushrooms (optional; use if you have only button mushrooms for fresh)
2 T butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb fresh mushrooms, preferably a combination, cleaned, trimmed, & sliced, the stems reserved for another use, a few slices reserved for garnish
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 T minced shallots
1 t minced garlic
4 C chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, preferably warmed
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

If you are using dried mushrooms, soak them in hot water to cover for about 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
Place the butter or oil in a large, deep saucepan or casserole and turn the heat to medium. When the butter melts or the oil is hot, add the fresh mushrooms and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until they begin to brown. As they cook, drain the dried mushrooms if you're using them (strain and reserve their soaking liquid), and stir them into the mixture. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper as they cook.
Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and reserved mushroom soaking liquid and bring the mixture just about to a boil. (You may prepare the soup in advance up to this point. Cover, refrigerate for up to 2 days, and reheat before proceeding.) Turn off the heat, garnish, and serve.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Couldn't be easier. Reduce the amount of stock by 1 cup. Add 1 T dry sherry (optional) along with the stock. Stir in 1 cup light or heavy cream or half-and-half just before serving, and heat through (do not boil). Garnish with snipped chives and sliced mushrooms.

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