You could make this soup with any sort of mushrooms, but the earthy flavor and golden color of chanterelles really augments the hearty white beans and musky sage.
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup onion, cut into ¼‑inch dice
- 2 leeks, white and pale green parts, chopped, washed and dried
- 1 fennel bulb, cored & cut into ¼‑inch dice
- 2 stalks celery, cut in ¼‑inch dice
- 2 clove garlic peeled and chopped
- 2 (14 ½ ounces) great northern white beans, drained and washed
- 6 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ pound chanterelle mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoon sage leaves, cut crosswise into very thin strips (chiffonade)
- 2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 6 tablespoon dry white wine
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream (optional)
- truffle oil to taste (optional)
Using cheesecloth, create a sachet with the thyme, parsley, bay leaves and peppercorns.
In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot set over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, half of the leeks, the fennel, celery, garlic, and the sachet. Sweat these ingredients, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are well softened, about 8 minutes. Add the beans and stock, bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered until the soup thickens some, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium sized saute pan set over medium heat. Add the sliced chanterelles, the remaining leek and the sage. Cook stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and white pepper. Raise the heat, add the wine, and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has nearly evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the sachet from the soup. Ladle half the soup into a large bowl, and using an immersion blender puree until smooth. Return to pot. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of white pepper. Add the reserved mushroom mixture.
Bring the soup to a simmer over medium high heat and cook uncovered about 15 minutes. If using cream, add it during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Drizzling each with white truffle oil to taste (if using). Serve immediately.