Mushroom Soup

WITH SOUR CREAM & CHIVES

Food & Drink - - THE FIRST TIME HOST -

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.

Serves 6

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