Fall Mushroom Soup with Savory Herbs and Warm Cream
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 yellow sweet onions, diced
4 leeks, cut into thin rounds
1½ pounds button or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
¼ cup sherry
4 cups chicken stock
Fresh ground pepper
½ pound maitake mushrooms, cleaned and cut bite-sized
3 sprigs oregano, leaves picked from stems
3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked from stems
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked from stems
1 cup heavy cream, warmed
In a medium, heavy-bottomed soup pot with a cover, warm 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil over medium/low heat. Add the onions and a big pinch of salt and give a stir. Cover. Let cook for 5 minutes. Add the leeks and let cook for another 10 minutes. Add the button mushrooms and another pinch of salt and let cook for 10 minutes, checking periodically to make sure that nothing is browning. All the vegetables should be sweating in their own natural juice. Add the sherry and turn up the heat to medium/high. Let boil for 2 to 3 minutes until the alcohol is cooked off. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and let cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender or a stand blender to blend the soup to a slightly coarse texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium sauté pan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium/high heat. Add the maitake mushrooms in one layer and let brown before flipping, about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Flip and add the savory herbs, whole. Let mushrooms brown on the flip side for about 3 minutes, along with the herbs. Remove from heat.
Divide soup among individual bowls. Garnish with savory herb and mushroom mix. Serve with a little pitcher of warm cream.