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Homemade Cream Of Mushroom Soup w/Cheesy Garlic Croutons
This recipe is to die for. Every time I serve this I am asked again and again for the recipe, so I thought I'd share.

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 C. chopped yellow onions

1/2 C. chopped celery

1/4 tsp. cayenne

1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

6 ounces shitake mushrooms (clean, trimmed, sliced)

6 ounces oyster mushrooms  (clean, trimmed, sliced)

8 ounces button mushrooms (clean, trimmed, sliced)

2 tsp. fresh thyme

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1/3 C. brandy

6 C. chicken stock

1 1/2 C. heavy cream

1 (8-inch long) thin baguette french bread, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions,celery, and cayenne, and cook, until soft, @ 4 minutes or so. Add garlic and cook for @ 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook,stirring until liquid is gone & browned. (mushrooms will give off lots of liquid, be patient). Next ad the brandy and bring to a boil and cook until glazed. Add the stock and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, so as not to burn for @ 15 minutes or so.
Remove from heat. Puree with a hand held mixer. You can puree until smooth, or do like I do and leave the bigger mushroom chunks behind. Add the cream and return to a simmer, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and adjust salt to taste.

On to the cheesy croutons!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Rub both sides of your french bread slices with the crushed garlic and place on a baking sheet With a pastry brush, brush 1 side with the olive oil. Top with your fine grated Parmesan cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly, usually @ 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and serve over the top of your yummy delish mushroom soup!

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