Cream of Mushroom Soup with Bacon Salt

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At my local farmers market, there's one vendor that forages for all of their wares. They specialize in mushrooms, but also sell berries and nettles. Lately they've had a good amount of Chanterelle mushrooms. These yellow/orange mushrooms are a little chewy and nutty. I'm not a mushroom fan (other than their amazing sauteed morels), but I love cream of mushroom soup. It's always been one of my comfort foods. CIMG2964 Ingredients
  • 4 cups chanterelles (or lobster mushrooms or morels)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • Several sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Coarsely chop the mushrooms, onion, and potatoes. In a large pot with some olive oil and butter, saute the mushrooms in a couple of batches, so they all turn nice and brown. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside. Melt the rest of the butter and add the chopped potatoes and onion. Cook until both are golden and then add the sherry. If there are any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, scrape them up, but I didn't have any. Once the sherry has cooked for a minute or so, add the thyme, bay leaf, garlic, mushrooms, and stock. Bring the entire thing to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by about a third. Add the cream and continue to cook until just below the boiling point. Remove the thyme and bay leaf and use an immersion blender to blend the soup. Serve. ... But wait, where's the bacon salt?!?!? CIMG2970Well, it's right HERE! You see, I tried the soup after dishing it out. It was very good. Rich, creamy, a little nutty. But it was missing something. Some sort of depth. I got out a couple of ramekins and filled each with a couple of spoonfuls of soup. Then it was experimentation time. Salt and pepper helped, but not quite enough. Old Bay Seasoning was also pretty good, but again, not quite there. However, Bacon Salt was PERFECT! It gave it that smoky depth that the soup desperately needed. Plus, it provided a dramatic CIMG2974visual picture. If I'd had smoked sea salt I think that would have worked as well. I did try adding some Murray River Sea Salt and while that was tasty, it wasn't quite smoky enough to really add the depth. For another "look" to the dish, you can also drizzle some additional cream on top.