Cream Of Wild Mushroom Soup With Cheesy-Garlic Croutons
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced
- 6 ounces oyster mushrooms wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced
- 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms wiped clean, stems trimmed, and sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 thin baguette French bread - (8" long) cut 1/2"-thk slices
- 3 garlic cloves peeled, crushed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons finely-grated Parmesan
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, the mushrooms give off their liquid and start to brown, about 7 minutes.
Add the brandy, bring to a boil and cook until glazed, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor. Add the cream, return to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning, to taste.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Rub both sides of the French bread slices with the crushed garlic and place on a baking sheet. With a pastry brush, brush 1 side with the olive oil. Top with a fine sprinkling of the cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top each serving with 2 croutons.
This recipe yields 8 servings.