Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Tis the season to make soup

So the weather has turned cold and, almost constantly, grey. That's right, November is here and it can be a dreary time for all of us. One of the few consolations is the food. Rich, hearty soups and stews, with meaty tastes and bold flavours that nourish and comfort you when the view outside the window is less than appealing.

In this spirit I decided to have a crack at making a mushroom soup, packed full of immune supporting shitake mushrooms and tasty herbs. As usual when I'm making soup I had a look at a few recipes, then cut my coat to fit my cloth and work a new recipe of my own around the ingredients I happen to have. As such, the recipe I'm about to give you is not set in stone, so feel free to play around with it. I do wonder whether a few toasted walnuts would make a nice topping to it, or even a bit of mild grated cheese? I'm going to sprinkle with parsley and serve with homemade wholemeal lunatic bread (full of nuts). Delish. Unfortunately hubby wanted more soups because he sees them as a good, low fat, high nutrient dinner, but I kind of missed the point and added more than 1/2 a cup of cream (my hand shook and a whole load more than intended splurged out - whoops!) Oh well, I'll make him some healthy soup, too, for tomorrow :-)


Milla's Mushroom Soup


1 large punnet mushrooms (I used Sainsbury's Basics range, but the chestnut mushrooms might add a nice nutty taste)
small handful dried shitake mushrooms
2 sprigs lemon thyme, chopped
small sprig rosemary, chopped
½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ pt chicken stock
cup warm water
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
½ cup double cream
Lemon juice


Soak the shitake mushrooms in the warm water for at least 20 mins. Whilst they're soaking, chop and fry the garlic and onions, then clean, chop and fry the fresh mushrooms. When they start to release water add the soaked mushrooms and strain in the mushroom stock. When this has reduced by half add the chicken stock, herbs and seasoning and allow to simmer for at least ½ hour, or until all mushrooms are softened.

Liquidise to a rough consistency, return half to the pan and blend the remainder till smooth, then return to pan, add ½ cup double cream and a good squeeze of lemon. Taste and adjust lemon and seasoning.

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