Hot Mushroom Soup
On a wet fall day there's just nothing like hot mushroom soup served in front of a crackling log fire. Depending on your preference, this soup can be the centerpiece of an evening meal. Serve it with a good salad, creamy risotto, and a good loaf of bread. This is fine quality comfort food at its best.
Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and add warm water to cover. Let the mushrooms stand until they soften.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until onion softens.
Add the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms soften. Sprinkle the mixture with flour and pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly to coat.
Add the water and the mushroom stock.
Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add enough water to the soaking liquid to make two cups.
Add the liquid, with the dried mushrooms, to the saucepan. Simmer all together for about 20 minutes.
Puree the mushrooms in a food processor or blender. Return to heat, stopping just short of a boil. Add the cream and reheat.
Serve piping hot. For an extra note of flavor, add a bit of sherry to each bowl.