meatless mondays . #9 {mushroom soup}

“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” Boy, I hope that’s true.  Here we are at the end of February and in the last week we’ve had low temps, freezing rain, snow, and wind storms.  I’m so ready for slightly warmer temps and back-to-back days of sun.   Made my mushroom soup this afternoon.  But since it’s Meatless Monday, swapped out the chicken stock for vegetable.   And added far less cream than usual.  Just those two changes make the soup a lot lighter.  This simple soup serves six – and is under $30. Paired with some wheat bread and a simple salad with vinaigrette…it’s a yummy winter night dinner.
Victoria’s Mushroom Soup
makes 8 cups – 6 servings
1 – 5 oz. pkg. dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. portobello mushrooms {about 2}
½ lb. white mushrooms
¼ lb. shitake mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red onion, diced
3 thyme sprigs – leaves only
5 cups vegetable stock
½ tsp. lemon zest
½ cup heavy cream

Take two of the dried porcini mushrooms out of the package and set aside.  Rehydrate the remaining porcinis by placing in a small bowl and just covering with boiling water.   Let sit.  Wipe fresh mushrooms clean, remove stems and slice caps.  In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, garlic, red onion and thyme.  Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms get soft; about 8 minutes.  Remove porcini mushrooms from water, slice and add to pot.  Strain the soaking liquid to remove any grit and add liquid to pot.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.  While the soup is cooking, take the remaining two dried porcinis and chop them in a small food processor or spice grinder – set aside.  Carefully working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor.   Return to the pot.  Add lemon zest and cream.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve as is or with a dollop of crème frâiche or drizzle of truffle oil.  Sprinkle with the chopped dried porcinis.

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