Mushroom Bacon Soup
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 strips bacon
1 container button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shot (1.5 oz) brandy
2 tbsp butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
1 + 1 cup (2 c. total) homemade chicken stock (or good-quality boxed chicken stock)
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat chicken stock in a small pot to a boil; reduce heat to low.
- In a skillet, cook bacon, draining on towels. Pour off all bacon fat from pan. Over high heat, add 2 tbsp butter. Add onions, and cook til translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add a shot (1.5 oz) of brandy. Flame off (if desired) or cook til evaporates, about 2 minutes. Reemove from heat.
- Reserve about 2 tbsp mushroom/bacon mixture for garnish.
- Add remaining mixture to blender. Add about 1 cup stock, puree mushrooms. Adjust mixture with remaining (or more) stock if needed, so it's more like soup (a bit runny) and NOT like baby food (or applesauce).
- Return to pot over medium heat to keep warm. Add cream if desired, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in bowls, garnished with reserved mushroom/bacon mixture and a sprinkle of thyme.