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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wild or Mild Cream of Mushroom Soup

6 T butter, divided use

2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 T flour
3/4 C diced shallots
4 cloves minced garlic
10 C sliced mushrooms of your choice *
1 1/2 t herbes de Provence
1 t Kosher salt
1/2 t fresh coarsely ground black pepper
1 C dry sherry
4 C chicken broth**
2 C milk
1 T dark soy sauce

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add shallots and saute until opaque. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and saute until softened. Add the herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper. Add the mushrooms, a little at a time if necessary, and saute until mushrooms are cooked through. Add the sherry to the skillet and cook at a high simmer until the liquid disappears. This will take a while.

In a nice, roomy Dutch oven melt the additional 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the 4 tablespoons of flour and whisk constantly while cooking for several minutes so that the butter and flour combine and the flour "cooks" and doesn't have a "raw" taste. Slowly add the chicken broth, wisking as you add it. Then slowly add the milk, wisking as you add it. Continue wisking until the mixture begins to thicken.

Now add the mushroom mixture from your skillet to the cream mixture in the Dutch oven and allow it to simmer for a while so that the flavors meld.

* Use whatever mushroom combination you like. This soup will be wonderful with plain old white button mushrooms, or any combination of mushrooms, or even rehydrated dried mushrooms. Make it your own depending on your taste.

** If you make your own chicken stock, you should definitely use it for this recipe. However, if you're human like the rest of us, be creative. You can use boxed or canned chicken stock or the appropriate amount of chicken bouillon and water.

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