Here is yet another great holiday soup. Works great for dinner parties or just as comfort food on a cold, freezing day.
For the Soup :
3 tbsp. Butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound mushrooms, roughly sliced or chopped
2 large jalapeno peppers, finely chopped ( I use the seeds and all because I love it spicy, but you could discard the sseeds if you want it mild)
2 slices bread, chopped roughly , I use white bread for the best taste, but you could use any other kind of bread
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 cup chopped chives + tarragon mixture
6 cups mushroom stock – recipe follows ( you can use store bought mushroom stock as well, but homemade is definitely worth the effort. It’s not that hard really!)
For the Wild Mushroom Stock :
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1-1/2 Tbsp Olive oil
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced or chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, chopped into 1/2 inch squares
1/2 cup leeks, roughly chopped into 1-inch piece
5 thyme branches or 1/4 tsp. Dried thyme
2 bay leaves
6 branches parsley, roughly chopped
3 sage leaves or large pinch dried sage
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp Salt
9 cups cold water
To make the wild mushroom stock:
Cover the dried mushrooms with 1 cup hot water and set them aside. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the vegetables, herbs, garlic, salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
Next add the dried mushrooms and their soaking liquid plus the 9 cups cold water, and bring to a boil; then simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve. Use it as is or return it the stove and reduce it further to intensify the flavor as much as desired. Generally it takes about 15 minutes at a slow boil to reduce the volume of liquid by 1 cup.
This is a versatile stock that you can make and store and use it for just about any vegetarian dish.It makes a great addition to pasta sauces, dips and side dishes.
To make the soup :
Heat the butter in a soup pot until it foams; then add the onion and salt. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes to soften the onion, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, parsley and jalapeno, and cook 2 minutes more. Add in the chives and tarragon and immediately pour in the wine, raise the heat, and reduce the liquid for another 3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and stew them with the onion over medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes, giving them a stir partway through the cooking. Pour in the mushroom stock and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat, add the bread, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Let the soup cool slightly; then either briefly puree it in a blender, leaving small pieces of mushroom, or puree it longer, making a smooth, creamy soup. Heat the soup again and stir in the cream. Taste it and season with more salt, if needed, and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the fresh herbs or creme fresche in each bowl. I sautéed some sliced fresh mushrooms and add them with more chives and parsely to the soup just before serving.
Adapted from Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison.