Cream of Hamakua Mushroom Soup with Ali'i Croutons

Cream of Hamakua Mushroom Soup with Ali'i Croutons
Yield: 4 portions

For the Soup:
¼ pound butter 
1 cup small diced onions or shallots
2 cups shredded or diced Hamakua Mushrooms (Ali'i, Shimeji, Oyster)
½ cup flour  
8 cups chicken broth or stock
½ cup heavy cream optional  
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Croutons:
1 cup medium diced Ali'i mushrooms
3 cups salad oil

Heat a medium sized pan and melt butter.  Add in the onions and mushrooms and lightly sweat.  Add in the flour and stir well until all the flour is incorporated with the butter, onions, and mushrooms.  Deglaze with the stock and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent the flour from scorching on the bottom of the pan.

In a separate pan, heat the salad oil on high heat.  When the oil is hot, add in the Ali'i mushrooms and fry until golden brown.  Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain the oil.  Finish the soup by adding in the heavy cream (optional) and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with Ali'i mushroom croutons or pour over chicken and bake as mushroom chicken.