Scallop, Leek, and Mushroom Chowder
1 large potato
peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
sliced 1/8-inch thick
5 cloves garlic
1 ½ cups chopped wild mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ cup sherry
or to taste
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups vegetable stock
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon ground ginger
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pound bay scallops
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pinch cayenne pepper
or to taste
Place potato into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and thyme and cook until mushrooms are soft but not browned, another 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 sherry and stir until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes more.
Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add flour and stir to create a paste. Slowly whisk vegetable stock into the flour mixture until fully incorporated and smooth. Add milk and stir to mix fully. Transfer mushroom mixture from the skillet to the soup pot, being sure to scrape all of the glaze from the skillet as well. Add ginger, salt, and pepper to taste, keeping it mild for now. Add an additional dash or 2 of sherry to the soup, if desired.
Bring soup to a boil, about 5 minutes. Add scallops and boil for 3 minutes; test one to be sure they are cooked before serving. Stir in cooked potatoes and season with additional salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper as desired.
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