Mushroom Bisque With Spicy Croutons

I love bisques and chowders more than any other soup and this one is at the top of my list. Can you guess I LOVE mushrooms done any way.


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms
  • 2 lbs. fresh crimini, white, and  portabello mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, chopped coarsely
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 leek, white part only, rinsed extremely well, chopped coarsely
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • sea salt and white pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, ribs removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stalk
  • 1/4 cup sweet sherry (Marsala)
  • 1 Yukon gold potato, peeled, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
  • pinch of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Spiced Croutons (recipe below)

Bring the water to a boil. In a bowl, place the dried mushrooms, add the boiling water over and set aside.

Clean and trim the mushrooms, chop coarsely and set aside.  Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the leek, shallots, pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly for about 5-6 minutes until the shallots begin to brown. Add the celery and rosemary and continue to cook for two minutes.

Add the fresh mushrooms and season with salt and pepper, stirring often for about 5 minutes, until they cook down to half their volume. Using a slotted spoon, add the porcini mushrooms, reserving the liquid, and add to the pot. Increase the heat to high and cook for 60 seconds.

Slowly pour the reserved liquid into the pot, making sure no sediment gets into the pot. Now add the stock, sherry and potatoes. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 12-13 minutes or until they are tender. Turn the heat off and let the soup sit for about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If using a blender, puree in small batches or use a hand held immersion blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a clean pot and add the thyme and whipping cream, Stir well. If too thick, simply add more whipping cream (of course). Simmer for 5 minutes and ladle into warm soup bowls and top with the spicy croutons.


Spicy Croutons

  • 1/4 tsp. of each of the following: dried basil, white pepper, oregano, thyme, dried dill, garlic powder and ground celery seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 9-10 slices of baguette, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything together in a small bowl. In a small saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add the spices and salt to taste.

Pour over the bread cubes to coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes until golden.

Stir just once during the baking time. Let cool down and top each bowl of soup with this delectable tidbit.




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