Cream of Portabella Soup
Cream of Portabella soup is a perennial favorite. The trick to making a good one is to use the juices from the mushroom, which provides maximum flavor. It is also important to use fresh, young mushrooms or mushroom stems, because the gills of older mushrooms tend to color the soup an unappetizing gray. If your mushrooms have very dark gills, scrape them off and sprinkle them over the soup.
* 5 tablespoons melted butter
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 3⁄4 cup chopped onion
* 1 6-ounce package Phillips Portabella caps, stems or slices cut into 1-inch chunks
* 2 cups milk
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme
* 2 tablespoons Marsala or sweet sherry
* 2 ounces Roquefort or blue cheese (optional)
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until a paste (roux) forms. Continue to stir and cook for another minute, until the flour is cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes, Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan and the add the mushrooms. Salt lightly, reduce heat, and cover. Let the pan sit over the heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the milk, cream, pepper and thyme. Increase the heat and bring almost to a boil - when bubbles form around the edge of pan. Stirring, add all the butter-flour mixture to the milk. Add the marsala or sherry and stir with a whisk over medium heat until the soup thickens, 3-4 minutes. Adjust for salt. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle a little of the cheese over the top if desired. Serve immediately.