week of soups: day 3 (duxelles) / by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Duxelles are essentially a paste of mushrooms. I make then when I can find some high quality mushrooms at a good price. These were made with several pounds of smaller portabellas that were on sale as a loss leader.

2 lbs of portabella mushrooms, cleaned, dry, and chopped.
1 small onion, diced.
1/2 leek, finely minced.
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced.
Salt, pepper.
1/4 cup olive oil.
2 T. butter.
1/4 fine quality wine (red or white).
2 T. balsamic vinegar.
6-8 cloves of fresh garlic, minced.

Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the onions; saute until translucent. Then add the leeks and when wilted, add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Stir to brown and then cover so that the liquid in the mushrooms is released. After about 10 minutes remove the lid to allow the juices to evaporate. When most of this liquid has evaporated, add the wine and the garlic, and reduce again for approximately 10 minutes. When most of this liquid has evaporated, add the balsamic vinegar and the tarragon. Cover briefly and then uncover and stir until all of the excess liquid has been reduced. Pack in clean glass jars, cover, cool, and refrigerate.

Use to flavor soups, sauces, sides, and entrees.