This comforting soup makes your house smell wonderful when simmered for a cold night.
8 cups low-salt chicken broth; divide in half
1 ½ ounce package dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced celery
1 cup sliced shallots
¾ cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups sliced stemmed fresh shitake mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
3 cups sliced crimini mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
3 cups sliced oyster mushrooms (about 4 ½ ounces)
8 ounces morel mushrooms, sliced
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
½ cup white wine
½ cup dry Sherry
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
½ cup heavy cream
Bring 4 cups broth to boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add porcini mushrooms to saucepan, let soak until mushrooms soften, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving broth but discarding any sediment in broth. Coarsely chop porcini mushrooms.
Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped celery, shallots, and onions; sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add mushrooms; sauté until brown and tender, about 8 minutes. Add minced garlic and thyme; sauté 2 minutes. Add white wine and Sherry. Boil until liquid is reduced to glaze, about 6 minutes.
In a small bowl mix butter and flour into a smooth paste. Add flour paste to mushroom mixture in pot; stir to melt butter and coat the vegetables. Gradually mix in all the stock. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, add milk and simmer until mushrooms are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Transfer 1 ½ cups soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return to pot. Bring soup to simmer. Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Ladle soup into bowls; top with croutons. Serve with salad and crusty French bread. Makes 6 servings.