Mushroom Soup with Smoked Bacon and Sour Cream

Serves 4 people INGREDIENTS 1 LB. morel mushrooms, rinsed clean 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock 1 cup sherry ½ sour cream 1 cup heavy cream (optional) 1 yellow onion, chopped 1 celery bunch, chopped 6 OZ smoked bacon, cut into strips 2 cloves garlic 2 carrots, chopped 2 bay leaves 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 TBSP parsley, finely chopped Salt and pepper

In a soup pot, cook strips of bacon over medium. Once bacon is crisp, remove half the bacon and set aside. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots to bacon fat, sauté until vegetables start to brown. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Add sherry, chicken or vegetable stock, bay leaves, thyme and heavy cream if desired. Simmer over medium-high heat until vegetables are cooked, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and purée until smooth. Pass liquid through a fine screen strainer and place back into soup pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste, simmer over medium-high heat until ready to serve. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, parsley and a desired flavoring such as truffle oil. Garnish soup with sour cream and bacon strips.