Crème de Champignons

makes 6 portions

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
16 oz. mushrooms (about 1 dry pint) + a few for garnish
a 19 oz. can of white beans, strained (or 2 1/4 cups of cooked white beans made with a little more than 2/3 cup of dry beans)
4 cups chicken broth
cream to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Utensils:
a large pan or pot
a blender

1. Heat the olive oil in the pan on high, add the onion and mushrooms. Lower the heat slightly to avoid burning the veggies. Cook without moving them around too much to allow them to caramelize nicely. Wait until everything is evenly coloured.

2. Add the strained white beans and the chicken broth. Bring the soul to boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. While the soup simmers, poach the mushrooms you will be using as garnishes in lightly salted water. You can leave them in their hot water bath until the end to prevent them from cooling off.

3. Use a hand-held mixer to puree the soup or mix everything in a blender/food processor. At this point, you can freeze the soup for up to 6 months. If you are eating it on the day of, or reheating the soup, carry on with the next step.

4. Return the soup to the pan if you used a free-standing mixer. Melt gently over medium heat if you froze the soup. In both cases, bring the heat back to medium-high. Take off the heat and put the pan on a heat-resistant surface. Add a dash of cream (to taste) and mix well to incorporate – this will bring down the temperature of the soup a little.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving. Garnish with poached mushrooms.

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