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Cuppa’ Mushroom

This velvety soup feels luxurious, but is so simple to make, you won’t be able to resist.

Mushroom cappuccinos just sound decadent, don’t they? Frothed up, the rich and earthy mushroom soup, topped with a roasted shallot whipped cream, is beautiful enough to be served in any fancy restaurant. But the soup, easy to make and quiet delicious, is also a wonderful addition to your staple fall recipes.

Try looking for mixed mushroom bags from farmers market vendors, who tend to sell the fungal varieties at a better value and selection then grocery stores. This soup also freezes particularly well and can be used as a easy, quick sauce for beef stroganoff. And for an added bonus, after cooking and pressing the button mushrooms, reserve them and process with pickling liquid- my current favorite snack. Mushrooms two ways is better then one, and makes for a better fall any way you have them. Enjoy!

Mushroom Soup (adapted from Saveur, Issue #132)
4 tbsp butter
1 pound button mushrooms, halved
1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as oysters, shiitake, cremini or portabello, thinly sliced
3 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper or espelette
Olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon
2 large shallots, skins removed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
chervil or tarragon for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Remove outer shell and peel from shallots, toss with olive oil, and place on a sheet tray or baking pan. Roast until soft and caramelized, around 45 minutes. Allow to cool completely. *This step can be done the day before.

2. Heat butter in a large, heavy-duty stock pot or high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until they begin to release their liquid. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until liquid is reduced to 3 cups, another 10 minutes. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set over a large saucepan. Strain the liquid from the mushrooms, pushing with the back of a wooden spoon to remove all liquid. (Reserve button mushrooms at this time to process with pickling liquid later*) Add 3 cups of cream and heat over medium-low heat, simmering until flavors mix completely, another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and store in freezer, or if serving soon, set aside.

3. When shallot is cool, cut into very small dice. Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks and fold the diced shallot and a pinch of salt into the cream.

4. To serve: Heat soup to a simmer. Place pot on a towel, and using a hand-held immersion blender, froth the soup (place the blender entirely in the liquid and buzz, gently pulling the blender up to create small bubbles). Tilt the pot and using a ladle, ladle unfrothed soup into cups. Using a spoon, scoop frothed bubbles on top of soup. Top with a dollop of shallot whip cream and a sprig of chervil or tarragon.


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