Mushroom Soup

There is a distinct nip in the air in the mornings now and I am beginning to turn away from salads in favour of something more homely and comforting.  A bowl or a mug of soup is the equivalent of a food hug and I am happy to huddle down in the kitchen with some, yet, if the weather sunny it’s something I often take outside to eat in the garden. It makes a great packed lunch put into a flask especially if you take a bread roll to eat alongside (or dunk in) !   I particularly like taking this soup with me when I take the dogs for a walk.   It fits right in with foraging for sloes and picking wild damsons or blackberries for a crumble or pie.   I love  Plum, Hazelnut and Sloe Gin Crumble  so I am always on the look out for damsons.  Mind you a great apple pie is hard to beat and there are lots of apples about at the moment as well as wild blackberries.

When I was young, soup tended to come in tins.   We weren’t allowed anything to do with the Campbells in our house (something to do with the Campbells betraying the rest of the clans to the English at a highland gathering they were hosting) so it was either Heinz or Baxters.   Tomato was my favourite (Heinz) and Oxtail or Mushroom were my brothers.   I have very fond memories of those days but homemade mushroom soup is an absolute revelation compared to the canned stuff.   I will never be able to open a can of it again.

Mushroom soup maybe doesn’t look the prettiest soup in the world but boy does it taste wonderful.  There are a lot of mushrooms about in the countryside right now.  As I much as I’d like to be able to channel my inner Antonio Carluccio I’m not an expert when it comes to identifying mushrooms so I often end up making this with bought mushrooms rather than foraged ones. *  My favourite one for this are chestnut or field mushrooms though you could always garnish this with some fancy varieties such as girolle or morel if you wanted to look fancy!

This is an easy recipe to make vegan or vegetarian just by using vegetable stock rather than chicken.

food wood kitchen cutting board

Mushrooms!

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil (I use rapeseed)
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, picked  or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 500g field of chestnut mushrooms, stalks trimmed
  • splash maderia or sweet sherry
  • a large potato, peeled and diced
  • 750 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper and maybe some nutmeg

Optional fried sliced mushrooms/croutons/fried garlic slices or/and a swirl of cream for garnish  

Method

  1. To a large saucepan add the oil, leek and onion together with the thyme and sauté for 5-10 mins until soft.
  2. Add the chopped mushrooms and potato to the saucepan and stir to coat.  Cook for a further 5 mins
  3. Splash in the sherry/Madeira if using and add the stock.  Season.
  4.  Bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce heat and cover the saucepan allowing to simmer for 30 mins
  6. Blitz the mixture until smooth and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  7. To serve, bring back to a boil and put in bowls/mugs or your flask.   Garnish if required.

*The only fungi I feel confident in foraging are puffballs which I use instead of mushrooms in this recipe.  If you feel braver and want to forage different types of mushrooms in the wild please be careful and don’t risk anything you aren’t totally sure of

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