Wild Mushroom Soup

(not that kind of mushroom)

We needed a soup for the Merlot tasting we held and this was the one. It takes a while to make it and Tom worked his fingers to the bone chopping the 'shrooms. However the taste is wonderful.

Stephanie has been after me to get the recipe, but I had lost it somewhere. Then last week Angela was looking for another recipe and said, "why don't you make this? It looks good." Low and behold, the lost mushroom soup was found!

This recipe comes from Tavern on the Green in Central Park, New York as cited in the cookbook Restaurant Secrets of Sacramento ... and other Great Places, 1999 Edition.

For the chicken broth I use the Swanson's.

Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 8

Heat oven to 350.

A. crimini mushrooms 4 cups  
white button mushrooms 1 cup  
fennel 2 heads  
  yellow onions 2 large  
  butter, unsalted 2 tablespoons  

For the mushrooms, remove the stems and keep them. Remove the top of the fennel and keep it.

Slice the mushroom caps, fennel bulb, and onions.

In a big soup pot, over medium heat, melt the butter.

Sauté the onions, fennel, white and crimini mushrooms in the unsalted butter. Don't let the mixture brown until the fennel is tender. Then let it get just a golden brown.

B. Portobello mushrooms 2 cups  
shitake mushrooms 2 cups  
vegetable oil 3 tablespoons  
  salt 2 teaspoons  
  ground black pepper 0.5 teaspoon  
  thyme, fresh 1 bunch  
  garlic 0.25 cup Chopped.

While the sauté is underway, slice the Portobello and shitake mushrooms. Place the mushrooms in a large bowl and toss with the oil, salt, pepper, thyme and chopped garlic.

Place all on a baking sheet one layer thick and place in the oven until they are golden brown. This takes a while, but keep your eye on them so they don't turn dark brown.

Turn them once when the top side is starting to brown.

C. Reserved fennel tops and mushroom stems.  
  chicken broth 1 quart  

In a medium pot place the mushroom stems and fennel top. Add the chicken stock.

Heat over medium for about 10 minutes - don't let it boil.

Turn off the heat.

Remove the fennel tops and mushroom stems and discard. 

D. russet potatoes 2 Peeled and sliced thinly.
Soup base from step C.  

When the mushrooms in the oven (remember them?) are ready, remove them from the oven.

Discard the thyme and garlic.

Put the mushrooms into the big soup pot and add the potatoes. Pour the chicken stock over it all. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are done.

E. black truffle oil 1 tablespoon  
Porcini powder 1 teaspoon  
salt and pepper to taste  

Remove from the stove. Place small batches of the soup in a blender and purée. LEAVE THE BLENDER TOP AJAR. If the blender top is closed, then the expanding gas will send hot soup all over your kitchen and likely burn you. My technique is to leave the top slightly off and cover it with a heavy kitchen towel.

As the batches are done, pour into a tureen.

Add salt and pepper as needed. Drizzle a little, tiny bit of truffle oil in each bowl and dust with porcini powder.

Prepare to enter Heaven.