Creamy Mushroom Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts


2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
2 pounds white mushrooms, sliced (about 12 cups)
4 cups mushroom broth (see recipe below) or water
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
10 to 15 thin baguette slices
3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup)


Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onion, season with salt, and

Add sherry and cook until alcohol smell has dissipated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic, thyme leaves, and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are shrunken and nearly covered in liquid, about 20 minutes. Add broth or water and cook until flavors have melded, about 30 minutes.

Process soup in a blender until smooth (you may have to do this in batches), then return to the pot over low heat. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the broiler, top baguette slices with 1 to 2 teaspoons blue cheese each, and place on a baking sheet. Broil until cheese is bubbly and toast is crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes. Float 2 to 3 toasts in each bowl and serve.

Easy Mushroom Broth


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium carrot, large dice
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced crosswise into 1-inch pieces (white and pale green parts only)
1 medium yellow onion, large dice
6 medium garlic cloves
2 pounds medium white button mushrooms, stems trimmed and quartered
8 Italian parsley sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
3 quarts (12 cups) water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the carrot, leek, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and leeks have softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the mushrooms, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to release some moisture, about 4 minutes.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are completely soft and the stock has a pronounced mushroom flavor, about 1 hour.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof container or saucepan; discard the contents of the strainer. Stir in the salt. If not using immediately, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. 

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