Sherry wine adds rich flavor, and a dash of soy sauce amps the mushroom umami.
Servings: 83/4-cup servings
1lb.cremini or baby bella mushrooms, or combination of a variety of mushrooms
1smallonion, chopped, about 3/4 cup
2/3cupsherry cooking wine, or cream sherryincrease salt about 1/2 tsp with cream sherry
3cupswhole milk or 2% increase flour to 3 Tbsp if using 2% milk
114.5oz.can reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (1-3/4 cups)
3/4cupchopped fresh fennel, optional
Wipe mushroom caps with a damp cloth. Trim stem ends and discard; roughly chop the caps.
In a 6-quart pot, melt butter. Add mushrooms, onion, and sherry cooking wine. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes or until most, but not all, of the sherry is absorbed.
Sprinkle flour over mushrooms; stir in milk, broth, soy sauce and sage. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat. Simmer gently 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove soup from heat. If desired, puree soup, or leave chunky. Use an immersion blender to puree. Or pour into a blender in small batches, blending very slowly if mixture is hot; blend until smooth and return to pot to keep warm. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with chives or parsley, if desired.
From the Mushroom Council, San Francisco Bay Area Crimini Mushrooms are grown and harvested in the same manner as the white mushroom. The reason they have a darker color and slightly denser texture is that they come from a different strain of spores. Portabella Mushrooms are also grown like white mushrooms. Actually, the Portabella is a mature Crimini. It’s usually three to seven days older than the Crimini when harvested. As a result, Portabellas develop much larger caps-ranging up to six inches in diameter.