Mushroom soup + garlic thyme croutons

The weather failed me this weekend. I was expecting sunny skies and instead got rain and lots of it. When rain comes, soup comes.

I first made these amazing garlic, thyme with a hint of red chili pepper croutons. Normally I always serve up a French baguette or something of the sorts, but from this moment forward it will always be croutons. The croutons are amazing. I insist you make them.

For the croutons: adapted from Joy the Baker

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsealed butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 6 cups stale bread cubes

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, place bread cubes on sheet and set aside. Heat oil and butter in medium sauce pan until butter has melted. Add garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove garlic and discard. Add thyme and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Drizzle mixture over bread cubes. Sprinkle with salt and toss cubes with your hand until coated. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.

The croutons are hard to resist, so set aside.

In our CSA last week we received 1 pound of cremini mushrooms. Wanting to try something new with my mushrooms, besides the normal sauté, make sauce, and so on, I decided to make soup.

This soup you can substitute almost any mushroom variety you have on hand. Feel free to use all or different amounts of the stock.

For the soup: adapted from The Balthazar Cookbook

  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms ( I used shiitakes)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of sage
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 small leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound of shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of water for 20-30 minutes, until plump.

Set plumped mushrooms aside. Strain soaking liquid through coffee filter. Save liquid, set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Bundle herbs together and add to hot pot, sizzle on both sides to infuse hot oil.

With herbs still in the pot, add onion, garlic, leek, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the flame to high and add the cremini and shiitake mushrooms.

Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the stock, dried now plumped mushrooms and the soaking liquid.

Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the herbs, then add cream and butter. Using hand blender (or if using regular blend, work in batches) purée until smooth. Simmer until ready to serve.

Top with croutons.

Ashley MartiSoup, dinner