Wild mushroom bisque
Makes 6 servings
This is the best cream soup you’ll ever make. If the amount of whipping cream seems prohibitively rich, substitute table cream or half-and-half; it will still be packed with mushroom flavour, though less rich and satiny. This recipe also includes rehydrated porcini. After soaking dried mushrooms in water, add the soaking liquid to the chicken stock, straining it through a cloth-lined sieve.
3 tbsp. (45 mL) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 medium shallots, chopped
2 tsp. (10 mL) herbes de Provence
1 lb. (450 g) assorted fresh mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed if necessary, coarsely chopped
2 to 4 oz. (60 to 115 g) dried porcini, rehydrated in 1 cup (250 mL) warm water for 1 hour, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
21⁄2 cups (625 mL) chicken stock
3 cups (750 mL) whipping cream
6 slices rustic, country-style bread, brushed with olive oil, oven-toasted or grilled
In a heavy saucepan or soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, shallots and herbes de Provence until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; continue to sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add salt, pepper and chicken stock with strained porcini liquid; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat. Add cream and gently simmer mixture for 20 minutes (do not boil).
Ladle into soup bowls, then put slice of bread on each serving.