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Wild Mushroom Soup with Madeira

The base of this soup comes in the form of a ready-made, creamy mushroom sauce and, once you add the delectable flavour combination of fresh mushrooms, dried porcini and Madeira wine, the whole thing ends up tasting very classy.

 Wild Mushroom Soup with Madeira

  Serves 4

 ¾ oz (20 g) dried porcini mushrooms
 12 oz (350 g) dark-gilled mushrooms
 1 x 350 g tub fresh wild mushroom sauce
 1½ oz (40 g) butter
 1 small onion, finely chopped
 5 fl oz (150 ml) dry Sercial Madeira
 1 tablespoon fresh cream
 2 small mushrooms, very thinly sliced, to garnish
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the croutons:
 ½ x 60 g pack Merchant Gourmet toasted garlic croûtons
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 ½ clove garlic
 1 heaped teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
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Start off by pouring 1 pint (570 ml) boiling water over the porcini and leave them to soak for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the 12 oz (350 g) of fresh mushrooms quite small in a food processor (or by hand). Then take a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over a gentle heat, cook the onion for about 5 minutes, then stir in the fresh chopped mushrooms, giving them a good coating of butter. Keep the heat turned as low as possible and let the mushrooms and onion cook gently, without a lid, for about 20 minutes, giving them a stir now and then.

After that, strain the porcini mushrooms through a sieve lined with a sheet of kitchen paper, and reserve the liquid. Chop the soaked porcini, then add them to the rest of the mushrooms along with the strained soaking water and the fresh mushroom sauce. Season well, whisking to amalgamate everything, then add the Madeira. Bring everything up to a gentle simmer and leave to simmer, without a lid, for 40 minutes. All this can be done several hours in advance and then re-heated.

The croûtons can also be prepared in advance. Heat up the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and the croûtons, toss everything together until the croûtons are a rich, golden brown colour and drain on kitchen paper. Just before serving, stir the cream into the soup and garnish each bowl with thin slices of raw mushroom and the croûtons, sprinkled with the chopped parsley.


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