Looking for a lovely starter for your holiday celebration? Try this rich and robust soup from chef Jordan Bailey of Town Meeting Bistro at the Inn at Hastings Park – it’s completely vegetarian with two types of mushrooms (cremini and shiitake) as well as Yukon Gold potatoes. Roasting the cremini upfront helps bring out their natural meaty quality, making the final dish earthy and hearty. Serve with an artisanal crusty bread or on its own if you’re trying to save room.
- 2 pounds washed cremini mushrooms
- Olive oil
- 2 white onions sliced
- 2 heads fennel sliced
- 1/2 cup whole garlic cloves
- 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups peeled, diced Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Roast cremini mushrooms in olive oil in a pre-heated 400 degree oven, until they begin to “weep” or release some of their liquid.
- Combine onions, fennel, garlic and dried mushrooms in large soup pot with olive oil. Cook on low/medium heat, until vegetables are tender and have no color.
- Carefully add sherry vinegar, stirring for 1 minute.
- Add roasted mushrooms, diced potatoes, and enough water to barely cover. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are falling-apart tender.
- Add heavy cream, return to a boil.
- Carefully puree mixture finely in high speed blender in batches. Strain through fine mesh strainer, season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!