ROASTED MUSHROOM SOUP

The key to the depth of flavour in this

soup is that the mushrooms are roasted

to bring out their wonderful earthy taste. 

A good bunch of fresh thyme thrown

into the mix and the kitchen will smell

like heaven.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 quarter cup of butter
3 Tbsp of white rice flour
5 cloves of garlic in their skins
4 cups crimini mushrooms roughly chopped
1 cup crimini mushrooms thinly sliced
8 to 12 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cups chicken stock, from scratch recipe here, or good store bought, even from a cube if it's good. You can get organic additive free ones now!
1 - 1/2 cups of milk or lactose free milk, soy or almond work fine too
1 quarter cup of fortified wine, such as sherry, port or Madeira (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Lightly oil the bottom of a fairly large baking dish.  It has to hold four cups of mushrooms.   Place the mushrooms, garlic cloves and fresh thyme in the dish and roast for around twenty minutes.

While the mushrooms are roasting you can make your roux and heat the chicken stock in a separate pot.

Melt butter in soup pot on medium low heat. Stir in the rice flour and cook stirring for around three minutes. It should bubble.

Increase heat to medium-high and slowly add the lactose free milk.  Stir or whisk well while you pour to prevent lumps.

When the mixture thickens add half of the heated stock stirring and let cook until reduced by around a third stirring frequently.

Remove the roasted mushrooms from the oven and pull out the roasted garlic and discard the sprigs of thyme.

Remove the garlic cloves from their casings and smash them to a soft paste in a small bowl and add a few tablespoons of the cream soup base to thin it, then add back into the cream soup base.

Add the mushrooms to the cream soup base.  

Pour the remaining chicken stock into the baking dish to deglaze it using a spoon to incorporate bits of yummy mushroom juice into the stock. Carefully pour this into the cream soup base.

Gently simmer the soup on low for about ten minutes to allow the flavours to intensify.  Stir frequently; cream soups can stick and burn easily.

Remove from heat and let cool enough to be transferred to a blender.  

Pour the soup in batches into a blender and blend until smooth.  Alternately use a hand blender to do so in the pot.

Return to stovetop add the sliced mushrooms and cook for another ten minutes.

Stir in the fortified wine, stir and serve.

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