I often find that I am a sucker for reduced items (who isn’t?) and end up buying things I really don’t need. This time, however, I was quite happy with my large amount of needing-to-be-used food, as it meant I could make a soup with the huge number of mushrooms I had somehow managed to buy. You might be thinking “but it’s Spring”, but sadly here in England that doesn’t mean we have warm temperatures yet, and there’s nothing better than a warming soup when it’s pouring with rain outside. You can use any kind of mushroom you have lying around – I had button, brown and dried porcini mushrooms, but closed cup and portabello would work just as well. This recipe is also gluten-free, which as 13-19th May is Gluten Free Awareness Week seems to be quite fitting!
200g button mushrooms
150g brown mushooms
10g dried porcini mushrooms
1 large white onion
3 cloves garlic
1 litre vegetable stock
A handful of chopped fresh (or dried) thyme
Salt and pepper
75ml creme fraiche
1. Heat the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Roughly chop the onion and soften in the melted butter for around 5 – 10 minutes on a low heat, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the chopped garlic and leave for another 2 minutes.
2. Soak the porcini mushrooms in a jug of around 600ml of boiling water and leave for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop all the brown and button mushrooms into rough slices, and add to the pan with the onion and the garlic.
3. Leave the mushrooms to soften for around 20 minutes, stirring frequently. When they have darkened in colour and have reduced down a bit, add the porcini stock bit by bit, allow it to reduce each time. The porcini mushrooms can be added as well, they add extra flavour.
4. Add the vegetable stock and stir. Season with the thyme and plenty of salt and pepper (taste to check the seasoning!), and cover with a lid and leave to simmer for around an hour.
5. Finally add the creme fraiche, and then, using a hand blender or a food processor, blend the liquid until smooth, There should be no mushroom or onion pieces remaining.
Serve with crusty (gluten-free!) bread and a garnish of extra thyme and creme fraiche, if you wish.