MUSHROOM SOUP

Mushrooms are one of those things you either love or hate. We happen to love them! One of our favorite cold weather meals is a big bowl of mushroom soup with homemade bread.

Recently, our daughter and son-in-law went shopping at a local international market. She sent me this picture of their selection of mushrooms. (Ignore the silly one making faces please.) Guess what’s for dinner?

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I asked her to pick out several types of mushrooms for me. We ended up with 8 different types of mushrooms: porcini, oyster, king oyster, baby bella, seafood, shiitake, brown shimeji, and white shimeji mushrooms. The shimeji mushrooms were new to me. They are the smaller mushrooms in the picture below. The larger mushrooms are very meaty with an earthy flavor. The small ones are just as delicious but are more tender than the others.

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This soup can be made with only one type mushroom if that’s all that is available to you, or you can use any combination of mushrooms that you like. Just make sure you have the large, meaty type included for the texture this soup needs.

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INGREDIENTS
8 cups mushrooms, roughly chopped in large pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Marsala wine (plus 3 tablespoons for later use)
6 cups beef stock (chicken stock may be substituted for a lighter soup)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large, heavy stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally until they are browned and just becoming tender.

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To the mushrooms, add the garlic and Marsala, scraping the bottom of the pan to release all the flavor bits. Continue cooking until almost all of the wine has evaporated. Add the stock, rosemary, pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of Marsala. Stir into the soup, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Pour in the heavy cream, stir, and simmer until it is heated through.

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Serve with crusty bread.
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