At winter, nothing warms the heart like a delicious home-made soup. Soup, in our family is special. Our marriage began with tender whispers over an extremely salty bawl of chicken soup. Yes, I admit, my cooking skills might have slightly improved ever since. Yet, one thing remains a constant. Home is, where the soup is.
Today, we have a mushroom soup on the menu. October – March is my favourite time to use all sorts of mushroom varieties for soups, risotto, even Asian meals. Somehow, I can’t help but think that mushrooms remain slightly underrated. Always a garnish but rarely the main event. This is certainly not true with today’s family meal. I love its intense earthly flavour. A soup of mushrooms, celery and onion might sound deceptively simple, but when something is the best, there is no real need for more. And this is exactly what this recipe is. Simply the best! Served with a tender toasted slices of bread, topped with left over mushrooms, who might ever need for more?
- 600 g mixed mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 2 sticks of celery
- 3 cloves of garlic
- a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- olive oil
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- 75 ml single cream
- 6 slices of bread
- extra virgin olive oil
1. Brush the mushrooms clean, then finely slice.
2. Peel and finely slice the onion, celery and garlic, then pick the parsley, finely chopping the stalks. Pick the thyme leaves.
3. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, celery, garlic, parsley stalks, thyme leaves and mushrooms, pop the lid on and cook gently until softened.
4. Spoon out 4 tablespoons of mushrooms, and keep for later.
5. Pour the stock into the pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then whiz with a stick blender until smooth.
7. Pour in the cream, bring just back to the boil, then turn off the heat.
8. Toast the slices of bread on a hot griddle pan, then top with most of the reserved mushrooms and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.
9. Spoon the soup into bowls, garnish with the chopped parsley and remaining mushrooms, and serve with the toasted bread on the side.