This recipe is adapted from Cooking One-on-One: Lessons from a Master Teacher by John Ash (Clarkson Potter, 2004). The original recipe was actually tossed together on a canoe trip using foraged ingredients, but unless you are feeling jaunty and are a wild mushroom expert, this version works equally well with store-bought exotic mushrooms.
The earthiness of the mushrooms and zest of ingredients like lemon, garlic and onion make the fruity yet clean flavors of a California Sauvignon Blanc a sure bet; recommended producers include Selene, Gainey and Rochioli.
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons slivered garlic
1 1/2 pounds fresh Trumpet Royale and Alba Clamshell mushrooms, wiped clean and thickly sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced (or canned diced tomatoes in juice)
6 cups rich chicken or mushroom stock
1/3 cup Amontillado sherry
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan or Asiago cheese, freshly grated, for serving
Parsley, chives, basil and/or chervil, chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large deep saucepan and cook the onions and garlic over moderate heat until they are lightly golden.
While onion mixture is cooking, sauté the mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate sauté pan over high heat until they are cooked through and lightly browned. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, and stock to the onion mixture. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the sherry and zest and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve the soup in warm bowls or mugs, garnished with a good sprinkling of cheese and chopped fresh herbs.