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Easy Comforting Mushroom Soup

August 19, 2013

Mushrooms! One of my absolute favourite ingredients to cook with. They are so versatile and there is so much that you can do with them. For the two years that I was undergoing my reconstructive surgeries I was unable to eat anything with a particular texture and mushrooms were just taboo…I did have some in bought cream of mushroom soup – most of it tasteless white stuff in a bowl or cup that I could not really identify with any mushroom….that deep earthy umami flavour was just missing and I longed for mushrooms, big brown ones stuffed with yummy delights and braaied outside over the coals, or delicious little marinated buttons that I could just pop in my mouth and taste the burst of flavour….whole baby mushrooms in a lively rich Boeuf Bourguignon or in a creamy beef stroganoff, or sliced porcinis and exotics in a delicious creamy mushroom and blue cheese risotto… ..Stir fried shiitake and exotics in an Asian Stir Fry! Oh I could go on and on! I have had my fill of mushrooms in all kinds of dishes since I have been able to eat them again these past 3 months or so and I am not tiring of them….last week, during the incredibly cold winter snap where the snow was falling on the surrounding mountains and we here at the coast were shivering in the bone biting accompanying wind and rain, I suddenly had the yearning to be holding a steaming bowl of homemade soup in my hands. I managed to get hold of my son who happened to be working locally that day and he went via the shop and bought me some fresh mushrooms and leeks and I set about picking thyme and parsley from the garden during a break in the rain. The aromas that filled the house were amazing. When hubby got back home from work he was very appreciative of the homely delicious smells that wafted out to meet him on the driveway.  I put a phone pic up on facebook of my saucepan full of sauteeing mushrooms leeks, thyme and garlic and got a lot of reaction out of it with friends asking for the recipe.

Unfortunately with all the rain our telephone cables got wet, as they do, so I was without internet for the better part of the week and weekend. Today I was so excited to get onto my blog, it is a very welcome and bright sunshiny day and I have 3 loads of laundry flapping in the slight breeze! And here I am in the dashboard of my blog finally and hoping for enough time on the interwebs to be able to write up my recipe and publish it in time for Meatless Mondays…..


Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a starter


250g Fresh Portabello Mushrooms (or Portabellini) – wiped and sliced

250g Button Mushrooms – wiped and sliced (Keep 4-6 small mushrooms aside for later)

15g dried Porcini Mushrooms – roughly broken up and placed in a bowl

250ml Boiling Water – pour over the dried mushrooms and leave to soak while preparing the rest of the ingredients

4 Large Leeks – finely sliced and washed well to remove any sand

2 cloves garlic – peeled and finely sliced

10 Sprigs Fresh Thyme – leaves stripped off and twigs discarded

50ml Olive Oil

15ml Butter

Sea Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1,5liters Chicken or Vegetable Stock

1 Cup fresh flat-leaf parsley – washed and chopped (keep 5ml for garnishing later)

100g Mascarpone

1 lemon – finely grated zest and juice

Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle on soup when serving

Place a large saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil and butter, then add your leeks. Saute until leeks are limp
Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and the garlic and thyme and sauté until the liquid from the mushrooms is almost evaporated
Strain the soaking liquid from the dried porcini mushrooms, add the mushrooms to the pan and add the liquid from them to the pan as well, being careful not to add the last few drops as they usually have a bit of grit in them from the mushrooms
Add the stock and a good grinding of black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover partially and simmer gently for about 20 minutes
Remove from the heat and using a stick blender blend the soup in the saucepan until it is smooth (use a regular blender if you don’t have the stick blender)
Return soup to the heat, season to taste with salt and more pepper if needed and stir in the parsley (keep 5ml back for garnishing)
Finely grate the zest from the lemon and set aside then squeeze the juice into the soup
Stir through the mascarpone and season to taste. You want a good balance of salt, pepper, sour from the lemon, sweet creaminess from the mascarpone and the earthiness of the mushrooms
Using the last few whole mushrooms slice them thinly then add a knob of butter to a small frying pan and add the mushrooms together with a roughly bashed clove of garlic (I don’t even peel it just use as is)
Saute until the mushrooms are brown and crisp but not burnt. Discard the garlic and drain the mushroom slices on paper towel
Add 5ml finely chopped parsley and some finely grated lemon zest, black pepper and salt flakes to the mushrooms – mix together and set aside for garnishing the soup

To serve:

Ladle hot soup into warmed soup bowls and sprinkle a bit of the mushroom mixture on top of the soup in each bowl
Drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil onto each bowl and serve with delicious seed bread or crackers


browniegirl xx

3 Comments leave one →
  1. NameCindy permalink
    August 19, 2013 6:12 PM

    I’d give my eyeteeth for a bowl of that right now. It isn’t any wonder Don was appreciative of the aromas; I’m drooling just reading about it.

  2. August 20, 2013 12:40 PM

    I don’t think we will get all the different mushrooms here but I will use what are available and try this out it sounds mouth-watering thanks C x

  3. August 22, 2013 8:03 AM

    This looks wonderful and it is all vegetarian–will have to try it soon

    Tried your custard biscuits and they were great, my princesses loved baking their batch–however their batch was laden with sprinkles and cake decorations

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