A spectacular winter dish, this simple wild mushroom bisque is rich yet elegant.
Slow roasting intensifies the flavor of mushrooms, giving this soup a rich, earthy flavor. Madeira is a sweet wine made in Portugal. Sherry makes an excellent substitute.
Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
- 1 pound fresh portabellos- stemmed, dark gills removed, caps cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms stemmed, caps cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch pieces
- 6 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 5 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Madeira or Sherry wine
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole organic milk
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup organic whipping cream
- 1/4 sourdough croutons, crushed
- garnish option: chopped cooked bacon
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the mushrooms between prepared baking sheets. Drizzle the mushrooms with the olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the mushrooms are tender and still moist, about 15 minutes longer. Cool slightly. Reserve any liquid from the roasted mushrooms
2. In a food processor or blender, combine half of the mushrooms with 2 cups of the broth and process until smooth.
3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the sherry wine and simmer until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
4. Add the remaining 3 1/4 cups of broth, organic milk, and fresh thyme. Stir in the remaining cooked mushroom pieces and the mushroom purée. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and ladle into serving bowls or demi-tasse coffee cups. Top with a little dollop of the whipped cream, sourdough croutons and some porcini powder (or any dried mushroom ground in a spice mill or coffee grinder) and the bacon.
• Almost all mushroom varieties are very absorbent and will soak up any moisture that’s available. Moisture causes mushrooms to decay rapidly, so the single most important aspect when cleaning them is not to soak them in water.
• Before you clean mushrooms, trim off the ends of the stems and any clumps of dirt that may be clinging. A soft-bristled brush or damp cloth can usually clean most of the dirt off of mushrooms. If the mushrooms are a little damp, use a clean cloth to dry them.
• Don’t discard the stems of fresh mushrooms like shiitake and Portobello. Use them to flavor stocks, soups, and stews. Wrap them in a square of cheesecloth and add them to a simmering liquid. The stems will release their flavor in about 20 to 30 minutes, then discard the cheesecloth bundle.