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Magic Cèpe Mushroom Soup

['2 ounces (30 g) best-quality dried cèpe (porcini) mushrooms (or substitute dried morels)', '2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream', '2 tablespoons Cèpe Mushroom Powder', '1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt', '3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock or vegetable stock', 'Chopped fresh chives, for garnish', 'Extra-virgin olive oil or chive oil, for garnish', 'An electric spice mill; a small jar with a lid; a large jar with a lid; a 3-quart (3 l) heavy-duty saucepan with a lid; 8 warmed', 'shallow soup bowls.']

Coarsely chop the dried mushrooms or cut them into pieces with scissors. Working in batches, grind them to a fine powder in the spice mill. [Makes 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) powder.]
If time permits, combine the cream and 2 tablespoons mushroom powder in a jar, seal, and refrigerate for 24 hours to infuse the cream with the mushroom flavor and aroma. (Alternatively, combine the cream and mushroom powder in the heavy-duty saucepan, bring just to a simmer, cover, remove from the heat, and set aside for 30 minutes to infuse the cream.)
At serving time, in heavy-duty saucepan, combine the infused cream, salt, and stock and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning.
Serve in the warmed soup bowls, garnished with chives and a drizzle of oil.
The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
Add sliced raw domestic or wild mushrooms to the soup and cook for several minutes; add grilled, sliced fresh cèpes or domestic mushrooms; add truffle matchsticks at serving time.

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