My favorite soup, hands down, is cream of mushroom. This is a great recipe from the Food Network that I modified a bit.
- 1 ½ ounces dried porcini mushrooms, or other dried mushrooms
- 7 cups homemade chicken stock
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 ounces button mushrooms, chopped
- 2 leeks (white part only), thinly sliced
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 parsley sprigs
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Madeira
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Place the dried mushrooms in a large bowl. Bring the stock to a boil and pour over the dried mushrooms. Set aside to rehydrate for about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and reserve the broth. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the button and rehydrated mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and somewhat dry, about 6 minutes. Add the leek and shallot and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.
Pour in the reserved mushroom broth, taking care not to add any grit or dirt that may have fallen to the bottom of the boil, and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the parsley sprigs, fresh thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the soup. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the mushroom puree. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.
Whisk the heavy cream, Madeira, and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste.