In a small kitchen like mine, the immersion blender is a miracle worker: it's small, easy to clean, affordable, and comes with so many attachments a girl doesn't know what to do first. When I first used our machine, I was astonished at how easily it transformed chunky vegetables into smooth puree.
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 1 small onion, thinly sliced
• 1 leek, light green and white part only, thinly sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 10 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
• 10-ounce mix of shitake, baby bella, or oyster mushrooms (your choice), cleaned and thinly sliced
• 4 tablespoons flour
• 1 quart chicken stock (lowest sodium possible)
• bouquet garni (bay leaf, two sprigs of thyme, a teaspoon of black peppercorns, and three stalks of parsley in a cheesecloth bundle)
• ¼ cup light cream
• 3 tablespoons sherry
• salt and pepper
Sweat out onion, leek, and garlic in butter until onions are translucent and soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat vegetables evenly.
Add chicken stock (make sure this covers the mushrooms—if not, add some water), throw in bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Then lower to a simmer and cook until mushrooms are completely soft, about half an hour.
Add cream and sherry and blend. Taste for seasoning, and serve.
To read Sophie Brickman's post on using her blender to make memorable soups, click here.