Brrrrrr…. Winter has most definitely set in. The motorway slip-roads are like ice rinks, TV reporters all have noses like Rudolph and I feel the beginnings of a blame game as to who didn’t order/make/magic up enough salt for the nation’s roads!
So, to cheer myself up I made one of my favourite meals the other night…. Wild Mushroom Soup. I had, as a child, some of the worst kind of mushroom soup forced upon me, cheap horrible stuff with enough cornflour in it to make it stand up and horrible mushrooms that ended up floating about like little slimy life-rings floating around in the atlantic. Apologies I’m not sure where I dreamt that analogy from! Then I came across Wild Mushroom Soup – I cannot remember where I had it (although I have a teeny feeling it was at L’Atelier at Joel Rebouchon a few years ago). It was dreamy – I had to try it.
Takes 30 minutes
1 wild mushroom medley (Sainsburys)
1 medium pack chestnut mushrooms
1 Medium Onion
A drizzle of olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 Pint of Chicken Stock or veg stock if you’re making for vegetarians
1 tsp creme fraiche
1 Shot of white wine (smaller than a glass larger than a thimble)
1 large pinch dried Thyme
1 slice of bread (whatever you have – I used wholemeal)
1 tbsp Freshly grated Parmesan
1 garlic clove, peeled but not chopped
- Roughly chop the mushrooms (make sure you’ve washed them first) and set aside for a few minutes
- Heat up the butter and oil in a pan. Roughly chop the onion and gently fry it until it’s soft and slightly transparent
- Add the chopped mushrooms and stir so through so everything has a slight sheen on it
- Add the thyme and stock (I used half home-made stock and half oxo stock cube)
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes (at 5 minutes add the wine)
- Toast the bread and while that is happening, turn on the grill ready for the posh crouton
- Using a pastry cutter cut two rounds from the piece of toast (if you haven’t got a pastry cutter carefully cut round an egg cup or the bottom of a salt or pepper mill)
- Rub the garlic onto the rounds, sprinkle a little thyme and a little ground black pepper
- Sprinkle the parmesan onto the rounds and place under the grill
- Time for the ‘souping’ Again, I put half into a tall plastic jug and souped it – if you have a pan with tall sides you can do it in the pan if you think it’s not going to go everywhere!
- Once it resembles soup, season with salt, pepper and maybe some more thyme
- Stir through the creme fraiche
- When the parmesan has melted and is just starting to go crispy take the croutons out from under the grill
- To serve pour the soup into two bowls, do a ponsy drizzle of oil and add your crouton on the middle
This a perfect midweek meal, it’s really quick and is relatively healthy. It also makes a good vegetarian starter (use veggie stock if you want to make it for vegetarians obviously) and the crouton makes it look like you’ve worked much harder than you actually have!!
Not as good as Joel Rebouchon, but I bet I used less butter than him!