I have hazy memories of a first date at a cozy French bistro with a bottle of red, a baguette, gooey cheese, and a satiny bowl of mushroom soup as a first course. I might not remember my date’s name, but the memory of that soup remains. This recipe recreates that magic by slow cooking roasted cremini mushrooms and dried porcinis — a far cry from the creamy mushroom soup found in a familiar red-and-white can.
Cooking earthy, umami-rich mushrooms low and slow with a splash of sherry supplies a background note of nutty sweetness that only a fortified wine can provide. Slow cooker soups run the risk of singing only one note, but by incorporating two types of mushrooms, a fortified wine, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, all of the rich, earthy nuances of the mushrooms stand out.