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Cream Of Mushroom Soup

3 tb Unsalted butter
2 tb Olive oil
3/4 c Finely chopped shallots
2 lb White cultivated mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 ts Fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c Cream sherry
3 tb All-purpose flour
3 1/2 c Low-salt chicken broth, reserving 1/2 cup
1/2 c Milk
Ground nutmeg to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon
1/2 c Sour cream

In a large saucepan melt butter with the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms, thyme leaves, salt and pepper, cooking until all of the liquid rendered from the mushrooms evap orates. Add the Sherry and cook until evaporated. Remove a 1/2 cup of the cooked mushrooms and reserve. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 cups of the chicken broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. In a blender puree the soup in batches until smooth. For a very smooth soup, pass through a fine sieve. Return soup to saucepan, bring to a simmer and whisk in the milk. Add reserved chicken broth to achieve desired consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Lower heat and whisk in 1/4 cup of the sour cream. Keep soup warm but do not simmer or boil. Serve soup garnished with reserved cooked mushrooms and a dollop of the remaining sour cream.

Yield: 4 servings

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