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Fresh Mushroom Soup:

3 to 4 pounds fresh mushrooms of assorted varieties
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 peppercorns
2 small onions
4 quarts water
1 quart chicken broth (or tomato water from pureed strained, fresh tomatoes)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
salt, pepper and fresh or dried thyme to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons creme fraiche, optional

Stem the mushrooms, and reserve the caps. Combine the stems, the
garlic, bay leaves, soy sauce, peppercorns, *one* of the onions,
quartered, and the water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce
the heat, and simmer for about two hours, until reduced by half.
Strain; reserve the broth and discard the solids. Slice the mushroom
caps and remaining onion. Melt the butter, and saute the onion
until soft. Add the mushrooms and saute until soft. Add the flour
and stir until it's well distributed. Cook an additional minute
or two, then add the chicken broth (or tomato water) and the reserved
mushroom broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for
20 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, and then, working in batches,
process the soup in a food processor until the mushrooms are very
small chunks and the soup is creamy. Return to the pot, reheat,
stir in the creme fraiche, and serve.


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