They say that your palate changes every seven years. Not a surprising little tidbit since seven years ago I hated salmon, loathed black olives, and despised the ever-so humble, mushroom. Yep, along with the other said foods, I think it's fair to say that mushrooms weren't exactly on my good side. And thinking back to my once upon a time mushroom disapproval, I honestly can't remember whether it was a textural or taste issue. But whatever the issue was, you couldn't catch me dead eating mushrooms....unless of course, one little slice snuck by me when I'd devour a plate of Chicken Marsala. Because let's face it, whether you're a fan of fungus or not, Marsala is a classic dish that always kicks ass.
Oh, how times have changed. Nowadays, porcinis, shitakes, and creminis are beloved ingredients in my kitchen. Simply sautéed and served over a steak, thrown in a stir-fry, or stuffed with crab, I'm a big fan of the versatile and oh so good for you vegetarian "meat." An amazing nutrient-rich food that's awesome for your skin, 'shrooms are quite frankly, one of my new best friends...culinary speaking, of course.
Last week, I came down with my once a year cold. Well, when this happens, there is only one thing on earth that I want to consume. Soup. Lots and lots of soup. But as you know, I won't eat just any ole soup. I'm pretty snobby when it comes to the liquidy substance that's supposed to qualify as a meal. It better be right on time with flavor, texture, and in times like these, ready to cure a bad case of the sniffles.
So with mushrooms as my savior, I prepared a super simple and super scrumptious 20-minute soup that boasts so much rich flavor without all the calories. My Mushroom and Thyme Bisque is made with onions, garlic, a sprig of thyme, mushroom stock (which can be bought at most grocery stores), a bit of coconut milk (to make it creamy but keep it Vegan-friendly) and a heavy "splash" of Sherry wine. Oh, and I must not forget to mention, it has a glorious drizzle of Black truffle oil on top. Oh yeah, you're listening now.
***This recipe makes 4 large servings
Sherry Spiked Wild Mushroom and Thyme Bisque
32 ounces assorted mushrooms (I used cremini, oyster, and shitakes), roughly sliced
1-32 ounce container mushroom broth
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup Sherry wine (or 3/4 cup if you like to really taste the Sherry)
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 sprigs thyme, tied off in butchers twine
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons truffle oil (white or black)
1) In a medium to large pot, bring 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat. Add the onion, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Then, sauté the onions until slightly softened. Add the thyme sprigs and gently stir, sautéing another 3 minutes. Now, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
2) Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook until they are softened. Then, add the sherry wine and let it cook off (2-3 minutes). Remove the thyme and pull the leaves from the sprig and throw them into the soup. Now, add the mushroom broth and with an immersion blender, puree until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can transfer the mushrooms to your food processor in 2-3 separate batches and then return to the pot with the broth. When mushrooms are blended in with the broth, turn heat down to low and let simmer for 5 minutes.
3) In a small pot, heat the coconut milk on low until it's just warm. Then, slowly stir the coconut milk into the mushroom soup. Let simmer for 3 minutes.
4) Taste test the soup and if needed, add another pinch of salt. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
5) Ladle into soup bowls. Top with a heavy drizzle of truffle oil (I use 1/2 tablespoon per bowl but feel free to use more). Top with a tiny sprig of thyme and some cracked black pepper (optional). Serve and enjoy!