What is it about bisque that’s so luxurious? Is it the velvety texture? The way it slides down your throat with no effort at all? Maybe it’s the cream that coats your tongue? Maybe that hint of sherry that makes it feel so highbrow? All of the above? Probably.
Whatever the draw — in my mind, bisques are automatically elevated past mere soup-dom. Bisques exist in the land of servants and Downton Abbey, not in my 3-bedroom ranch.
Except this one. Ready in under an hour and it doesn’t require any special tools or experience. A pot and a blender are all you need.
And oohh, is it good! Perfumed with Manzanilla Sherry (the lightest variety) and made lush with a solid dose of cream, this bisque delivers flavor!
Serve it with a salad and crust of bread for a delicious vegetarian dinner, or ladle out a cup to company before the main course. Wouldn’t this be a fine starter for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas?
Make this creamy mushroom bisque ahead of time and reheat it just before serving. Makes a delicious appetizer before a main course.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 24 ounces crimini or button mushrooms trimmed and quartered
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 small sprig rosemary
- 1 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons sherry preferably Manzanilla
- salt and pepper to taste
- a drizzle of cream
- sauteed mushroom slices
- chopped fresh chives
In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until softened and slightly translucent. Add the mushrooms and salt, stir to combine. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes until the mushrooms start to give off their liquid.
Meanwhile, secure a small piece of kitchen string around the thyme and rosemary. Set aside.
Add the broth, bay leaf and thyme-rosemary bundle to the mushrooms. Stir to combine and simmer, covered for 15 minutes, until the herbs have wilted -- but haven't fallen off the stem. Remove the herbs and bay leaf and simmer uncovered for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Working in batches, ladle the mushrooms and broth into a blender. Puree until smooth. Continue until all the soup has been pureed.
Add the cream and sherry and mix well. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper if needed.
Reheat the soup and ladle into bowls, topping with a swirl of cream, chopped chives and additional sautéed mushrooms, if desired.