This recipe comes from a friend of mine from England. She used to frequent a restaurant close to her home quite often and told me over and over again how wonderful this soup was. How she would actually dream about it! She wanted to make it at home but had no idea where to start. I finally told her to just ask the chef for the recipe. She doubted that he would do it but went a ahead and tried. To her huge surprise he was more than happy to help her out! I have unfortunately lost contact with her now, but this recipe will always be special to me because she shared it with me.
I don't know why I had to but this soup was just calling to me, begging me to make it, and who am I to tell food no right? I love love love cream of mushroom soup. I grew up eating the good ol' Campbell's version and it became one of my favorite comfort foods. Once I had my surgery the canned version was no longer an option to me because of the high fat content, it made me sick. I was very sad for a while, until I remembered I had this recipe!!
This is of course a much more "adult" version of cream of mushroom soup. Cooking the mushrooms down in the port wine give this soup such a deep, rich, earthy flavor. Mmmm I am craving it again just thinking about it! Thank goodness I have some leftover in the fridge because I know what I am having for lunch!!
Thanks Karen my love, for sharing this soup with me and many wonderful memories!!
Cream of Mushroom Soup with Port Wine
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cups (about 1/2 pound) cremini mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped, 2 cups sliced and 2 cups finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (plus some for garnish if wanted)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup tawny port wine
2 1/2 to 3 cups chicken stock (save 1/2 cup to thin soup at the end if needed)
1 cup half and half
2 cups heavy cream
Dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste.
In a large sauce pot, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the mushrooms and thyme and cook till the mushrooms have released most of their water, about 5 minutes.
Add the port wine and continue to simmer until the liquid is almost gone, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour until it is all incorporated into the reduced wine. Slowly whisk in the 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock, making sure there are no lumps of flour. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the half and half, heavy cream, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Salt and pepper to taste.