A light soup rich in flavour and topped with crunchy, cheesy croutons is a lovely start to a festive meal. If you would like a deeper mushroom flavour, use cremini or other exotic mushrooms. The flavours benefit from being made ahead, so make the soup a day or two ahead and reheat before serving, which also makes for easy entertaining. Be sure to make the croutons just before you serve the soup, for the crispiest texture. The aroma as they toast in the oven will tantalize everyone's taste buds. A hard cheese that can be very finely grated is best for the croutons. Try Parmesan, Romano, Manchego, Asiago or very well aged Gouda or cheddar (at least 5 years old). Use the finest grater you have to shred the cheese. From LCBO magazine.