This is a great soup, full of wonderful earthy mushrooms. Roasting the mushrooms concentrates their flavor. It is an elegant first course that acts as a preview of the delicious meal to come.
Makes 12 servings
3/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion
3 carrots, peeled, halved, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 celery ribs, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped coarsely
5 cups Vegetable Stock
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup dry sherry
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Position the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms with 1/2 cup of olive oil, two teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Divide amongst the two cookie sheets and spread out evenly. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes, until tender.
In a large heavy bottomed pot set over medium heat, combine onion, carrots, celery, cumin, remaining olive oil, one teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Cover and cook while stirring occasionally until softened, about 20 minutes.
Add the roasted mushrooms and cover with the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the fresh parsley and thyme and cook for an additional five minutes.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a standard blender (in batches) until desired consistency. Return to soup pot, and stir in heavy cream and sherry. Add additional vegetable stock if the soup is too thick. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a drizzle of warmed heavy cream and chopped parsley for garnish.