Velvety Mushroom Soup
Makes 2½ quarts
Mushroom soup from a can? Never! It is so easy to make and so tasty when a variety of mushrooms is used.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 large leeks, cleaned and cut into rings
2 pounds mixed, sliced mushrooms, including oyster, shitake and button
4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
6 cups hot chicken broth
1 cup light cream
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
¼ cup minced, fresh parsley
Grated sharp cheddar cheese for sprinkling on top
1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot; stir in the leeks and mushrooms. Cook, covered over medium heat, until the mushrooms are soft. Add the thyme and cook 3 minutes longer.
2. Add the chicken broth and cook covered for 5 minutes over medium heat.
3. Purée the soup in batches in a food processor, in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the cream, salt, pepper and parsley. Heat slowly.
4. Top with cheddar cheese and serve.
Variations: Once cooked, reserve some of the mushrooms and keep for garnish. Add toasted bread to the bottom of the soup bowl before ladling on the soup.
Cook’s secret: Never leave mushrooms in plastic bags or plastic wrap; mushrooms need to breathe. Store them in paper bags in the refrigerator and use within two days of purchase.