This week I chose a recipe that would work deliciously in a Thanksgiving menu. Instead of the classic pumpkin or squash varieties, a light, slightly creamy mushroom soup is an excellent addition to the traditional menu. Topped with a blue cheese crouton and chopped chives, this soup is rich and heart warming. It's simple to make and yields a large batch, making it perfect for a crowd. If you love the taste of mushrooms, definitely give this soup a try. If blue cheese is too strong for your liking, substitute with a creamy goat's cheese or salty Parmesan. To see how I made it,

Mushroom Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts
From Williams Sonoma

For the soup:
2 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. fresh button mushrooms, brushed clean
and coarsely chopped
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
6 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1/2 lb. fresh wild mushrooms, brushed clean and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
For the blue cheese toasts:
2 oz. blue cheese, such as Roquefort, Stilton or
Gorgonzola, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 baguette slices, lightly toasted
2 Tbs. finely snipped fresh chives

  1. To make the soup: in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, melt 1 1/2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Increase the heat to high, add the button mushrooms, dried porcini mushrooms, stock and water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the mushrooms are tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Add the fresh wild mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and the mushroom liquid has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  6. Using a blender and working in batches, puree the soup until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes for each batch. Alternatively, process with a stick blender in the pot. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean soup pot.
  7. Add the cream and sautéed wild mushrooms and stir to combine. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and reheat to serving temperature.
  8. To make the toasts: in a small bowl, mash together the blue cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the cheese onto the toasted baguette slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  9. Broil until the cheese is bubbling around the edges, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from the broiler and sprinkle with the chives.
  10. To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and float a blue cheese toast in the center of each bowl. Serve immediately.

Serves 10-12.