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Mushroom Soup

8 oz Mushrooms (button or portabella/baby cremini)
1 bouquet garni (2 sprigs flat leaf parsley, 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme)
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried tarragon
1 tbsp dried thyme
4 tbsp butter
1 small to medium sized onion.
1/4 cup white cooking wine (the cheap Carlo Rossi Chardonnay works great)
4 cups (32oz) Chicken broth
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup of milk or 1/2 & 1/2 (whatever your preference, I used 2% milk)
1/4 cup of sherry (optional, needed but optional)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Chop mushrooms into bite size pieces.
Chop onions.
Melt 2 tbsp butter in medium saucepan. Add chopped onion and white cooking wine, taking care to not brown onions; add rosemary, basil, tarragon, and thyme. Stir frequently for a couple of minutes then add the mushrooms. Allow mixture to sweat for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

In an 8 quart stock pot add the remaining 2 tbsp of butter and the mushroom-onion mixture from the sauté pan. Add a splash of white cooking wine and 4 cups of chicken broth. Bring pot to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer for 1 hour; adding the bouquet garni when brought down to a simmer. (It is easy to place this bundle in cheesecloth with string for easy removal or be lazy like me and leave in there, unrestricted.)

Sit, have a glass of wine, read, or just plain forget about it for the next hour.

After 1 hour remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. No sense burning yourself. Once slightly cooled add milk and flour. Use a whisk to break it up a bit. (it will look a bit chunky but that's okay) Then break out the blender and carefully pour the soup till it is about 3/4 of the way full. Please remember to put the lid on and to keep your hand on the lid because it is hot liquid, it will scold and burn your face as well as your immediate extremities. Blend on high for about 90 seconds. Check mixture. To make sure it is well combined.

Return the soup to the stock pot, heat the burner to lo-med temp. Just to make sure it is nice and warm. Add 1/4 cup of sherry (just before serving).* After this recipe you will want to use sherry in everything.

The texture should be silky almost velvet. Be sure to taste before adding more salt because the chicken stock has plenty. Don't forget to heat up some french bread for dipping.
Leftovers (if you have any) go great over that leftover Sunday roast with rice. Go green and recycle those leftovers.

*Sherry, good cooking sherry, doesn't have to be expensive. You can check out more on wines, at epicurious.com

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