WITH SOUR CREAM & CHIVES
This simple, velvety purée of mushrooms has a deep woodsy flavour with added complexity from brandy. Easily accessorized, it’s a little black dress of a soup. You could finish it with dry Marsala or amontillado sherry instead of brandy. Other garnishes include heavy cream, crème fraîche, truffle oil, toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
2 medium onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme leaves
2 lbs (905 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced 6 cups (1.5 L) chicken or vegetable stock Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste ¼ cup (60 mL) brandy or Cognac
Full-fat sour cream and finely sliced chives to garnish
1 Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. When butter is sizzling, add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme. Cook 2 minutes. Add mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until they weep some liquid, 2 to 3 minutes. Raise heat to high. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms have wilted and are simmering in their liquid, about 3 minutes. Add stock, salt and pepper. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to maintain simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
2 Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. (Firmly hold blender lid down with kitchen towel while machine is on.) Transfer soup to a clean pot. (If you are making it ahead, cool soup and transfer to airtight containers. Refrigerate up to 5 days and freeze up to 6 months.)
3 To serve, bring soup and brandy or Cognac to a simmer over medium heat. Taste for salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives.