I have been on a big soup kick recently, and I’ve been making some pretty good ones! This one was no exception. I splurged and bought a 1/2 oz bag of dried porcini mushrooms, and I’m glad I did. They were so delicious, especially because they make a yummy broth too. While making this, I was kind of worried it wouldn’t taste that good. But the last minute additions – cream, wine, and soy sauce – really made the soup. I added extra soy sauce. I can think of a few minor improvements to maximize flavor, such as seasoning the onions and mushrooms as they cook. I usually do that, but I forgot this time. It turned out fine, but it needed a LOT of salt at the end. Also, I would like the soup to be a tiny bit thicker. It was very smooth, which was most important, but I might look into adding a tiny bit of flour to make a roux. I’m not looking for cream of mushroom soup, but a little more thickness would be nice. It’s not the prettiest soup, but it tasted great! There are a lot of other versions, but I think I picked the best one.
Creamy Mushroom Soup with Sherry and Thyme (Use Real Butter)
2 tbsps unsalted butter
2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium onion, medium dice (~ 1 1/2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and thinly sliced (~ 4 1/2 cups) – I used portabella & alba mushrooms
1/2 ounce bag of dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in 1-2 cups boiling water (reserve the liquid, but leave any sandy dregs behind) – this is optional, but I did it
2 tbsps plus 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper to taste
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 tbsps dry sherry
1 tbsp soy sauce
In a large stockpot heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high. Sauté the onions until they are browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir about for a minute. Then add the mushrooms, 2 tablespoons of thyme, salt, pepper, and cook until the mushrooms begin to wilt (in a couple of minutes). Pour in the broth and the porcini liquid (aka liquid gold) making sure to scrape up any fond that has formed on the bottom of the pan (the good browned bits). Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool slightly. Either using a food processor, a blender, or an immersion blender, purée about half of the soup. Return the purée to the pot and stir int he half-and-half, shery, and soy sauce. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Reheat as needed. Garnish with fresh thyme and extra mushrooms that have been browned in butter (that is some heady garnish, lemme tell ya!). Serves six.