Mushroom Soup

Wild, frugal or with a touch of luxury

Field Mushrooms Agaricus camprestis

Field Mushrooms Agaricus camprestis

Mushrooms are not something I’ve tried to grow yet, but each year we manage to forage a few of the wild ones and savour every mouthful.  Normally I have to rely on the cultivated varieties, and in our local supermarket these are limited to either the chestnut or button varieties. However, on a good day there are always a few half-price packets (the dreaded best before date expired) which are eagerly taken home even if they have to be cooked and frozen to be used at a later date.
Mushroom soup is a favourite and the degree of frugality depends on what extras are lurking in the kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 500g mushrooms
  • 1 litre of stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley plus a little more to garnish
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tsp sherry vinegar
  1. Melt half the butter, add the onions and garlic and sweat gently in a covered pan
  2. Add half the mushrooms, parsley and stock, simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender
  3. Cool slightly and then puree in a liquidiser or use a hand blender
  4. Saute the remaining mushrooms in the butter until soft and brown and then add to the soup
  5. Add a generous dash of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tsp of sherry vinegar, taste add a little more if required together with a generous twist of black pepper
  6. Heat gently for 5 minutes and adjust the seasoning if required
  7. Serve with a sprinkling of the remaining chopped parsley

Notes

  1. If you are using wild mushrooms, clean carefully with a damp cloth and check for livestock (slugs love fungi). You will need to mix with cultivated mushrooms. Do not use wild mushrooms unless you are 200% sure of your identification, getting it wrong can be fatal.
  2. Try using use dried mushrooms to enhance the flavour – a handful is usually sufficient. Soak in warm water until soft and cook with the initial batch of mushrooms. Strain the soaking liquid and add to the stock.
  3. If the puree is too thick, add a little more stock.
  4. You can use light soy sauce or mushroom ketchup as a substitute for  Worcestershire sauce
  5. Be profligate and add a generous (or frugal) glug of dry sherry or Madeira or Marsala.
  6. You can add more garlic, but don’t get carried away.
  7. Add a swirl of cream before serving.  I promise it still won’t taste like the “cream of…” which comes in tin.

3 thoughts on “Mushroom Soup

  1. Pingback: World Food Day | Croft Garden

  2. One of my favourites, absolutely, and this recipe looks great. Even though we live in rural France mushrooms in the shops here are equally limited to buttons and oyster mushrooms but luckily when they’re in season I can get trompettes or big meaty ceps. Sometimes like you I add dried mushrooms to up the ooomph factor a little…

    Have you ever come across mushroom ketchup?I can’t get it in France but believe it’s an old English condiment, and it’s worth tracking down – a slug of that in a mushroom soup makes it sublime

    • Mushroom ketchup is a great flavour booster for all kinds of soups and casseroles that need a little extra oomph. I’ve also recently discovered pomegranate molasses. Most of these “exotics” have to be purchased by mail-order or come as gifts from generous friends.

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