1 1/4 pounds fresh oyster mushrooms
1/2 medium onion
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon porcini powder*- optional
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1/3 cup Madeira
5 cups mushroom stock
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 cup heavy cream
Garnish: finely chopped fresh chives
*available at some specialty stores
Chop oyster mushrooms and finely chop onion. Mince garlic and shallots.
In a heavy kettle heat oil over moderately high heat until hot and sauté mushrooms, onion, and garlic with porcini powder and brown sugar, stirring, until liquid is completely evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown.
Add Madeira and boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated. Stir in mushroom stock, vinegar, and thyme and bring to a boil. Stir in cream and salt and pepper to taste and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.
In a blender puree soup in batches until smooth, transferring to a saucepan, and reheat over moderately low heat until hot.
Serve soup garnished with chives.
Makes about 5 cups.