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Get inspired for the holidays with Jacques Pepin’s festive Mushroom Velouté with Almonds, adapted from his acclaimed cook-book, “Fast Food My Way.”
Yield: 4 servings


· 2 tablespoons unsalted margarine
· 1 cup sliced shallots
· 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
· 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 2 cups Manischewitz All-Natural Vegetable Broth
· 2 cups Manischewitz All-Natural Chicken Broth
· Salt to taste
· 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 1 pound cultivated white mushrooms (preferably older specimens with open gills)
· 1 to 2 pieces dried tree ear mushroom (also known as “wood ear” and “cloud ear”)
· 1/3 cup sliced almonds
· 1 cup Non-Dairy Creamer


Heat the margarine in a saucepan, and add the shallots and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Add the flour, and stir well. Stir in the vegetable and chicken broth, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, wash the white mushrooms, and cut them coarsely. (You should have about 7 cups). Add them to the saucepan with the dried tree ear mushroom. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes, removing the tree ear mushroom after 10 minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, remove and discard any tough roots from the tree ear, chop it coarsely, and set aside for use as a garnish. (You should have about 1/4 cup.)
Sauté the almonds in a small, nonstick saucepan over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until they are lightly toasted. Take them out of the pan immediately.

When the soup is cooked, emulsify it until smooth with a hand blender or in a food processor.

At serving time, add the non-dairy creamer to the soup, and bring it back to a boil. (You will have about 6 cups.)

Divide among four soup bowls, and serve hot with a sprinkling of the chopped tree ear mushroom and sliced almonds on top.


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