top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I just have to tell you about the most marvelous kitchen tool my husband, Sir Jeffrey, bought me. It’s called a Mezzaluna and he got it from the Nigella Lawson Living Kitchen catalogue. It’s shaped like a crescent moon and is made of stainless steel. The moon edge is very sharp and makes chopping and cutting a breeze. I’ve used it on fresh herbs and most recently on several pounds of mushrooms. I was making one of my signature recipes (a divine cream of mushroom soup) and had to chop lots of mushrooms and also shallots. The Mezzaluna made the whole job so easy; I couldn’t believe I ever chopped with knives. It has handles on both sides so you just rock and chop. I love it!
Just a little tip for those foodies that read your blog.
The Contessa’s Divine Cream of Mushroom Soup!
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2 lbs of fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter ( I used salted)
4-5 shallots, chopped fine
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup of sherry or other white wine
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
optional garnish…chopped fresh parsley
First of all regarding the mushrooms…You can use any kind that your local market has fresh. Sometimes I use your basic plain mushroom but sometimes I like to mix it up with shitake, baby bells, chanterelles, etc.
Finely chop the mushrooms and shallots.
In a large pan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots; turn the heat up a bit and sauté, stirring frequently about 20 or so minutes. When the mushrooms look like a dark brown paste and most of the liquid has evaporated, add the flour
Add the cream and deglaze the pan, then simmer about another 15 minutes until it thickens. Be careful it doesn’t stick. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Now at this point, if you want your soup to have the consistency of bisque, you can puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Personally, I prefer to keep it chunky.
Before you serve, add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and finally the wine. I have tried it with sherry and white wine which I prefer. A nice dry white wine is great.
Serve with a nice crusty bread and salad and you have a wonderful dinner!