This recipe is from the LCBO’s Holiday 2015 issue. I served it as the second course in a Holiday Wine Pairing Dinner. Mushroom soups can be heavy if they are creamed or very earthy depending on the type of mushrooms used. This one is actually very light and delicate. It was perfect for this menu since we served several courses.
This soup is amazing considering there are really no fancy ingredients going on here. My guests were surprised that I had used simple white mushroom slices. If you are a real mushroom aficionado you could use more exotic mushrooms but you don’t have to. Just don’t skimp on the time to caramelize the leeks and mushrooms since that step is what produces such outstanding flavour from such simple ingredients. And don’t skip the croutons!
It is also very versatile…you can vary the spirit you add and choose the stock you prefer. You can make it a day or 2 ahead which is handy when it is part of a big meal. I made it with sherry and served a glass of the same sherry with it during the meal. I used a Manzanilla sherry which I thought at the time was a bit thin on the palate. However, the sherry with the caramelized leeks and mushrooms left a pleasant nutty, caramel aftertaste.
For the cheese croutons I had a great stroke of luck in that I had a small piece of Lankaaster Extra Aged Gouda style cheese in my fridge. It was perfect to give the croutons a salty, sharp, creamy flavour. Glengarry Fine Cheese is an artisinal cheese-making operation in Eastern Ontario just North of Lancaster, Ontario. They make the cheese on-site and a visit and a tasting are definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. Their web-site lists many Canadian and International awards particularly for the Lankaaster Aged cheeses and their Celtic Blue as well as shops that carry their cheeses across Ontario.