Creamy Dreamy Cream of Mushroom Soup


Creamy dreamy soup, just the thing for a really cold winter day. With props to The Barefoot Contessa, we created our own hearty brew for Saturday lunch with a few original twists and turns to add to the mushroom flavor and broth complexity. Big tip: Williams Sonoma has a new line of "stock starters" in different flavors, which we've used for both roast pork gravy and this mushroom soup. They are superb and well worth the cost. Adding only 1 tsp. to your stock or gravy will give it a depth that you cannot get easily in any other way.

Here's how we made the cream of mushroom soup:

Ingredients

For the Stock
10 oz. white mushrooms, sliced, caps removed
4 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced, caps removed
4 oz. any portabello or other mushroom, sliced, caps removed
1 tbsp. Willliams Sonoma mushroom stock starter
1/2 c. carrot, chopped
1/2 c. onion, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
5 cups water
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

For the soup
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 leeks, only light green and white parts, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. flour
2 beef bouillon cubes
3/4 c. good quality dry white wine
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. half and half
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley

Process

For the stock

1. Sauté the onion, shallot, carrot and mushroom stems in 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter. Add fresh thyme, Williams Sonoma mushroom gravy starter and water, simmer and skim as it cooks, for 30 minutes.
2. Remove from heat, strain.
3. Reserve broth and solids.

For the soup


1. Sauté leeks in 3 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil, until well wilted, about 20 mins.
2. Add mushroom caps and sauté 10 minutes more.
3. Add flour. Cook for a minute or two, to cook off the flour taste. All will "come together" in a loose ball. Stir well.
4. Add wine, dried thyme, bouillon cubes, and strained stock broth.
5. If desired (we did), add in some of the solids from the broth -- carrots, mushroom stems, onions, etc.

6. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently, using a wooden spoon, to pull up anything on the bottom of the pot. (Note: If more white "foam" appears, skim it gently and discard.)

7. Reduce heat and add cream, half and half, fresh parsley, stir well.
8. Chill and reheat before serving, as this process renders the soup creamier and more flavorful.


Serving suggestion: Crisp mixed greens with vinaigrette dressing, crusty Italian bread, ice cold glass of Pinot Grigio or Chablis.  Serves four generous servings.






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