Just before the holidays I had the most amazing mushroom soup at a restaurant here in Phoenix. I tried on several occasions to garner the recipe from the chef but he just wasn't sharing. So I was left to come up with a recipe of my own.
I gathered from the menu description that along with mushrooms the other dominate ingredient was leeks and that it was laced with cream. I did some additional research and found an article that mentioned the types of mushrooms the chef used....so I had a pretty good idea where I was headed when I got into the kitchen.
My local Whole Foods Market has a great variety of mushrooms both fresh and dried. In the recipe below I used dried morels, lobster and porcini along with fresh cremini & shitake. Both the texture and taste of this combination was a hit. Though it's more traditional to mix the cream into the soup I was really happy with floating it on top; a method I had seen on epicurious.
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Mushroom Soup With Floating Thyme Cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pounds mixed mushrooms, fresh or dried that have been rehydrated
1 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
Using electric mixer, beat cream just until soft peaks form. Fold in 1 teaspoon thyme. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving to come to room temperature.
In 4-quart stock pot over moderately high heat, heat 2 tablespoons butter until hot but not smoking. cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.
In same stock pot over moderate heat, heat remaining 1tablespoon butter. Stir in leeks, cover, and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cooked mushrooms, sprinkle with flour, and stir until flour is evenly distributed. Stir in stock, then salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme. Bring to boil, stirring often, then reduce heat to low, set lid ajar, and simmer 20 minutes.
Divide soup among 4 bowls and float a dollop of thyme cream on top. Serve immediately.
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