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The beauty of this cream of mushroom soup recipe is its endless varieties. Not only are there so many mushrooms to choose from, but you can also substitute various fortified wines, or even use none at all.
You can also change some of the spices and herbs. Tarragon works in place of basil, and the addition of garlic along with onions, or roasted garlic along the broth can make for a tasty change. Also, a touch of nutmeg would not be out of place, as it is always a good addition to a cream sauce.
Tips and Techniques
One note about cleaning mushrooms: do NOT clean them in water, as they will soak it up which will stop them from absorbing the flavors of your soup. It is far better to brush them clean with a dry cloth or a very soft brush. And since they do absorb liquid, that means they can pick up a lot of extra flavor by being soaked in wine, chicken stock, or nearly anything that is not too acidic.
Wonderful, so much better than canned!