Serves 4 Generously
Paired with Amici Cellars Pinot Noir, this soup makes a wonderful first course for a sophisticated dinner party. The bright acidity and lively flavors of raspberries and black cherry in the wine provide a nice balance to the hint of cream in the soup, while the wine’s subtle earthy notes harmonize beautifully with the soup’s deep mushroom flavor.
Bring the water to a boil and add the dried porcini mushrooms. Remove from heat and allow the mushrooms to soak for one hour. Remove the mushrooms from the water, squeeze the water from the mushrooms, and set aside. Strain the water through a coffee filter or very fine mesh strainer to remove any grit that may be present; set aside.
In a large saucepot, over medium heat, add the butter. As soon as it melts, add the onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and sauté until the onions become soft and aromatic. Increase the heat to high and add the rehydrated porcini mushrooms and sauté until any water released from the mushrooms evaporates. Immediately add the Marsala wine, and button mushrooms, and stir until the ingredients are well combined. Cover and simmer until a noticeable mushroom essence is noted, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved and strained porcini water, heavy cream, tamari and one cup of the chicken stock. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove the bay leaf and blend in a high-powered blender until smooth. Return to the saucepot and season to taste with the salt and pepper. If desired, add the remaining one cup chicken stock. Portion and top with crispy shallots.
Heat the canola oil to 325°. With a mandolin, thinly shave the shallot. Carefully add the shallot to the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Remove the shallots from the oil and drain on a lint free cloth or paper towel. Season with salt.
Sprinkle crispy shallots on top of soup and serve accompanied by Amici Cellars Pinot Noir Russian River Valley.
The soup, with the exception of the crispy shallots, can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat the soup over low heat while frying the shallots and serve as directed.