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This soup makes a beautiful presentation at any dinner. There is the element of surprise as to what it might be that is hidden under the buttery, golden puff pastry crust. When the crust is pierced the steam wafts up with a delicious aroma of mushroom earthiness and rich cream. Truly a special starter and yet so very easy. I use store bought puff pastry for this but if you have home made on hand, then all the better. The mushrooms are plain white button mushrooms but what I believe really makes this soup taste so special is the veal stock powder. I have tried this using chicken stock and it is good but cannot compare to the rich taste that you get by using the veal stock.

IMG_7967imageServes 6

Ingredients:

800 g / 28 oz white button mushrooms
1 large onion, diced
Tarragon, one branch, fresh, leaves finely chopped
Puff pastry, 2 rolls
1 egg yolk
45 g / 1 1/2 oz butter
375 ml / 1 1/2 cups cream
2 tablespoons veal stock powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 liter / 4 cups water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 360 F
Clean the mushrooms, discard the stem and slice the caps
Heat the butter in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat
Add the mushrooms and sauté them for about 5 minutes
Add the veal stock powder, the nutmeg, black pepper and the water
Mix, cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes
Using a stick blender or a food processor, purée the soup
Add the tarragon leaves
Taste for seasoning
Divide into 6 ovenproof bowls
Cut the puff pastry into 6 circles slightly larger than the rim of your bowls
Paint the edge of the bowls with the egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water
Place the puff pastry circles onto the bowls as a lid and press the edges with your fingers
With a pastry brush brush the top of the lids with the egg yolk
Bake for 12 minutes in the oven
Heat the cream
Once out the stove delicately pierce a small hole in the lid and with the aid of a small funnel, pour the cream equally into the soup
Enjoy!

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