Porcini Consommé

6 cups vegetable stock
1 pound porcini, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into ½-inch slices *
5 black peppercorns
2 to 3 bay leaves
½ cinnamon stick
Fine sea salt
¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream, whipped to soft peaks (optional)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the mushrooms, peppercorns, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.

Line a colander or large metal sieve with cheesecloth and strain the consommé into another pot, pressing gently on the mushrooms with a spoon to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the mushrooms and spices.

Reheat the consommé and season with salt. Pour into bowls. Add a couple tablespoons of cream if desired to each portion, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve

* Fresh porcini, also called cèpes, are sometimes available in gourmet markets. If you cannot get them, you can make the soup with 1 pound button mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, and sliced, plus 2 ounces dried porcini.

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