Soups & Stews

Our Favorite Mushroom Soup Noreen & Marion

This is not inexpensive to prepare, but it has gotten rave reviews from guests. Very rich.

4 ounces dried mushrooms (shitake, cepes, or porcini)
1 & 1/2 cups Madeira wine
4 tablespoons low-fat butter substitute
4 pounds fresh white mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and black pepper to taste
10 cups defatted chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or frozen chives
1 cup sour cream (optional)

Rinse the dried mushrooms well in a strainer; drain.
Place Madeira wine in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and add rinsed mushrooms; let soak to rehydrate for 1 hour.

Melt butter substitute in a large soup pot. Add onions and cook, covered, over low heat until they are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Trim stems of fresh mushrooms. Wipe tops clean with a paper towel. (Do not soak in water.) Slice thinly; add to pot with onions.

Add nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Remove dried mushrooms from the wine with a slotted spoon. Add to the soup pot. Pour the wine into pot through a very fine strainer.

Add broth (and bouillon cubes if stronger flavor is desired) and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until dried mushrooms are tender. Cool slightly.

Puree the mixture in small batches in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Return to soup pot and adjust seasonings to taste. If mixture is too thick, add a bit more broth. Heat until steaming.

Serve garnished with chives and, if desired, a dollop of sour cream.

16 servings.

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