Mushroom Soup with Sherry and Thyme
Homemade mushroom soup makes a nice starter for a meal or a good accompaniment for a sandwich. This recipe uses fresh thyme and sherry to complement the rich, earthy flavor of the mushrooms and a small amount of heavy cream to add a touch of richness. We love the extra flavor you get from using dried mushrooms, but we've included the info on how to replace them with fresh in the recipe notes.
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (see notes)
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 to 2-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup golden sherry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 lb fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (plus more for garnish)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (or more to taste)
Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and add the warm water. Allow to stand for a minimum of 30 minutes to rehydrate the mushrooms, then transfer them to a cutting board using a slotted spoon, chop roughly and set aside. Add enough broth to the soaking liquid to equal 4 cups, then stir in the sherry and set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the carrot and celery. Sauté for about 4 minutes until softened, then add the onion. Continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent, 3 minutes longer, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
Stir in the rehydrated mushrooms and cook for an additional minute. Add the sliced fresh mushrooms (keep a few for garnish), reserved broth mixture, and fresh thyme. Simmer slowly for 45 minutes, tasting and seasoning with salt and pepper once or twice during the cooking.
Using a hand blender (or conventional blender) purée the soup to a smooth consistency. Stir in the cream, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a mushroom slice and sprig of thyme.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
We used dried porcini mushrooms in our soup, but you can use any type you like. If you don't want to use dried mushrooms, include another 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms and replace the water with extra broth.