Sherried Cream of Mushroom Soup
Replace some of the button and cremini mushrooms with chanterelles, porcinis, oyster or other wild mushrooms if available. Tarragon makes an excellent substitute for the thyme.
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
1¾ lb button and/or cremini mushrooms, chopped
¼ lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
4 cups low-sodium beef broth or veal stock
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp dry sherry
½ cup half and half
½ cup heavy cream
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 button mushrooms, sliced and sautéed (optional)
1. Place oil and butter in a large pot over medium high heat. When butter has melted add mushrooms and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onions and shallots, reduce heat to medium, cook 5 minutes, add garlic, cook 1 minute, add salt, pepper, thyme, and broth. Increase heat to high, simmer 12 minutes, remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbsp sherry.
2. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender (or use an immersion blender), return to pot, stir in half and half and cover to keep warm.
3. Whip cream to firm peaks, sprinkle in remaining sherry, whip until peaks return. Dollop onto soup and garnish with thyme sprigs (and sautéed mushrooms if desired).