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Author Notes: This recipe is inspired by a fantastic bowl of soup I had at a local restaurant. Lightly caramelized pine nuts complement the sweet nuttiness of the mushrooms and offer textural contrast to the silkiness of the broth. As a final touch, a few mushrooms are reserved and marinated in rice wine vinegar, then added just before serving to give the soup a tangy punch. I used a simple 10-minute stock of celery, onions, and mushrooms, but meat or poultry broth could be used to impart fuller flavor. —Rivka
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup shallots, chopped
- 6 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 3 cups shiitake mushrooms, ends of stems removed, sliced
- 2 dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1/2 cup hot water
- 5 cups stock (vegetable/mushroom or other)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- In soup pot over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter until sizzling. Add shallots, toss to coat, and cook until translucent and starting to brown, 5 minutes.
- Add remaining butter and mushrooms, reserving 1/3 cup cremini mushrooms for later. Add thyme. Turn heat to medium-high. Toss to coat, and saute until mushrooms are very fragrant and have started to emit liquid, about 5 more minutes.
- Add porcini mushrooms, soaking water, and all stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dissolve sugar in rice wine vinegar and add reserved mushrooms. Let marinate while soup is cooking.
- When 15 minutes have passed, turn off heat. Either blend soup in batches in blender or food processor, or use immersion blender to blend soup in pot.
- After soup is blended, pass through a strainer to remove any stray chunks. Return to soup pot.
- Add cream and brandy; stir to fully combine.
- Serve hot; garnish each serving with several of the candied pine nuts (recipe below) and marinated mushrooms.
Candied Pine Nuts
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- In small frying pan over medium-low heat, combine sugar and pinenuts. As sugar begins to melt, use wooden spoon or a simple flick of the wrist to ensure all pine nuts are coated with the sugar.
- Cook until sugar has fully melted and pine nuts are golden brown. Remove from heat; immediately transfer caramelized pine nuts to parchment paper or other nonstick surface to cool.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Mushroom Soup