3-Way Mushroom Soup


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3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed small (russets are a good choice)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
10 ounces whole, white, button mushrooms
1/2 cup broccoli florets
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
water and chicken or vegetable stock to cover
1 cup (more or less) half and half (room temperature)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt half the butter over low heat in a large saucepan. Add the celery and onion and cook until translucent. While this is working, divide the mushrooms into 3 piles. Chop the first pile into quarters.

When onion and celery are translucent, add half the water/stock combination. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

When boil is reached, salt lightly and add potatoes and broccoli and the rest of the water/stock combo. Bring back to a boil and add the cubed mushrooms. Cook until vegetables and fungi are fork tender.

In the meantime, slice one of the remaining piles of mushrooms thinly. Saute lightly in butter. Set aside.
Cut the other pile of mushrooms into quarters.

When the vegetables are ready, remove as many as you like, with some of the liquid, and puree to desired consistency. If you want all of them pureed, you can use an immersion blender in the saucepan. (I like to keep some of mine whole, so I puree the veggies in a blender. Besides, I don’t have an immersion blender.) When desired consistency is achieved, pour in 1/4 cup of the half and half (you’re tempering the ingredients).

Pour the ingredients back into the saucepan, and add the remainder of the half and half (or as much as needed to achieve the desired consistency) and the quartered mushrooms. When heated through, add the sauteed mushrooms. Correct seasonings.

Serve immediately.

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