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Wild Mushroom Soup with Port

This is a good way of making a relatively small number of wild and dried mushrooms go a long way. It is a very rich soup and you won't need huge quantities of it.

Serves 6

25g/1oz dried mushrooms
175ml/7fl oz hot water for soaking dried mushrooms
50g/2oz butter or margarine
150g/6oz onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
25g/1oz shitake mushrooms
2.5ml/ 1⁄2tsp grain mustard
75g/3oz mixed wild mushrooms
100ml/4fl oz (crusted) port
1 litre/2 pints rich vegetable stock
250ml/10fl oz double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes until reconstituted and set aside.
Retain the soaking liquid.
Place the butter in a saucepan and melt over a gentle heat.
Add the diced onion and sauté with the garlic until brown.
Add the sliced shitake mushrooms and sauté for a further 5-6 minutes.
Now add the washed and trimmed wild mushrooms and sauté again, stirring regularly, for another 3-4 minutes.
Next, add the dried mushrooms and pour in the liquid they have been soaking in, using a piece of muslin to catch any remaining grit.
Add half the port and continue to cook, adding some of the stock and allowing it to reduce by about a half.
Then blend the soup in an electric blender until smooth and return to the pan.
Now add the double cream and bring gently to the boil.
Add the remaining port and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes.
Finally pour in the remaining stock, add the mustard, adjust the seasoning, stir well and serve.

Source: The New Cranks Recipe Book

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